Skip to comments.Introducing the Google Chrome OS (MSFT in their sites)
Posted on 07/08/2009 4:56:31 AM PDT by comps4spice
It's been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.
We have a lot of work to do, and we're definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision. We're excited for what's to come and we hope you are too. Stay tuned for more updates in the fall and have a great summer.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director
This would technically be the most barebones operating system ever implemented as according to them it has the ability to run nothing other than a browser.
I’d also like to see how they’re going to overcome boot delays without revolutionizing IC technology. If your operating system is totally stripped down, it will boot faster, but it’s still going to take time.
Google isn’t taking aim at Microsoft or Apple. They’re taking aim at taking the Netbook theory one step further. Those companies who actually develop functional operating systems aren’t going to worry.
Bing is a better search engine...google will have its hands full!
I’d make the switch from Firefox, but I can’t be bothered swapping all the bookmarks and stuff.
Firefox has been good. I’ll stick with it.
Chrome can import the bookmarks. They have extensions, but not as many as Firefox. But it is lightning fast.
OK. Maybe I’ll give it a try.
cites? sights? sites?
I think the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Color me embarrassed!
I wondered about that myself. Did they use “sites” as sort of pun, since Google is an internet-based company? Or was it a true error, and they meant “sights”? What a grammar nazi I am.
If the OS primarily resides in flash memory, it can "boot" instantly. It won't really be a boot, it would be coming back from hibernation.
Barely? Google has a great search engine, but this is probably out of their area of exertise. The main reason they are targeting netbooks is they can't possible support the range of HW that MS supports (or the range that linux supports for that matter). But even with this low hanging fruit it will be hard to pull off.
OTOH, my netbook came with Xp home which I immediately scrapped. MS isn't a perfect fit for the netbook segment either.
I call BS right here.
“Already, over 30 million people use it (Chrome) regularly.”
If these 30 million people are anything like me, we’ve downloaded it, played with it a bit, and resumed using Firefox like before.
I mean I’m sure there are *some* people who use it regularly, but I highly doubt it’s anything close to what they say.
Years back Gates mentioned that operating systems were going the way of the dinosaur. No news here. The less google programs on my system the better. They are hogs and spy on anything you do!
Not to be an alarmist or anything but before you do you might want to check out what, if any, of your usage will be trasmitted to Google and how comfortable you are with that.
Which is why I'm not tempted in the least to sample an OS created by them!
No thank you, give me a 64 bit OS and privacy.
A bootable web browser isn’t going to unseat Microsoft just yet.
re: “lightning fast”
After a certain speed is reached, more speed is insigficant. And I’m just not in the mood to get overly friendly with Google.
I apologize, in advance, for not being very diplomatic. That said, Google can kiss my Firefox’s butt.
“Things”, being what they are these days, I’ll stick to Firefox and OffByOne.
Bing is crap. It won't even do a search on my last name without incorrectly correcting the spelling.
Free browser wars
If I try it it'll be on a virtual machine firewalled from the rest of my network.
That's definitely a hit at Windows.
I'd say it's right in their area of expertise. They've had years of experience heavily modifying the Linux they use in their hundreds of thousands of servers.
I’d like to see Google satellite maps feed into a Google photo-realistic flight simulator, where the 3-D computation is done on centralized high end supercomputers with only the final video frames downloaded. Home computers typically only need supercomputer class computation for short periods, the rest of the time spent web surfing. It doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive high-end home computer that will be second rate in a year.
It seems as though many of the folks pushing this stuff have either forgotten or deliberately ignored the huge number of users who do plenty of real work that has NOTHING to do with the Internet.
Would they be surprised to know that it's POSSIBLE to accomplish something without an Internet connection?
There is much more to computing than Facebook, Twitter and email.
And millions of Michael Jackson fans answered---HUH ?
If that's all they are doing, then why bother? I can get a nicely tailored linux for my netbook already.
They're apparently not using the heavy UI that you would, like X-Windows. Plus they probably stripped a lot of stuff out of the kernel that wouldn't be needed for their application.
My "heavy" UI uses about 400M out of the 1G of memory in the netbook. You can't buy a netbook with less memory. Apps add more, but no more than Google's apps. Using powertop I see that power consumption of the UI is perhaps 1W more than the minimum 10W it uses at the console with no UI running (mainly due to Intel chipset inefficiency).
As for the stripping the kernel, that's useful. But any random linux geek can do that.
As long as Google doesn’t bundle Chrome with the O/S. That would be an anti-trust violation and unfair.
‘in their sites’? websites or buildings? do not understand.
Well, then that's something under 400M less on that little netbook, and apps don't add much more when all you're using is the browser.
Kewl. I like that thought. I cannot believe we don't already have this. I'd LOVE to fly over real satellite maps done 3D
The stuff in parentheses is my commented. It was early; I misspelled “sights”.
I mean think about it: why would you want an OS that is very tied to Google itself and won't have the full hardware driver support that MacOS X 10.6 and Windows Vista/7 enjoys?
No, the main reason that they are targeting the netbook is that Google wants everything to be web based. In Microsoft's ideal world, we all run high powered machines as our desktops (or laptops), running Microsoft thick client software that we all rush out to upgrade whenever the next edition rolls out. In Google's ideal world, we bring back the thin client. Our computers are just terminals to access the internet. Once on the web, we search google, use google mail, google docs, google everything so that they can sell billions and billions of little text ads. They wanted to address the shortcomings they saw in the browser, so they built Chrome. Now they want to finish the job and put all of our computing on the web.
The thing is, they aren't far off base. After playing with Chrome for a bit, I must say that I liked the speed and GUI better than Firefox. However, Firefox simply has too many add ons and other goodies I use day to day to switch (though it is possible that this has changed). IMHO, the speed was good, but not too much different than bare bones Firefox. Separate processes is a killer feature that Firefox should have added a long time ago (and will have soon; apparently an alpha of that feature was just released). Where Chrome really shines, to me, is the GUI. It is simple, clean, unobtrusive, and extremely smart. I held off trying Chrome for a while after reading their license, but tried it after they fixed it(http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/150637/google_amends_chrome_license_agreement_after_objections.html). Similarly, I would be really excited to see what kind of a UI they bolt on top of a Linux kernel.
Herein lies the issue for me: Google's products are top notch, but the idea of using them almost scares me from a privacy POV. Take Google Documents. By and large, I prefer to use the office suite (openoffice) on my desktop, but for certain projects and documents the "on-the-go" nature of Google Docs is awesome. Again, the GUI works well and the only real complaint I would have (privacy aside) is some of the odd layout issues I have seen on fairly simple documents when exporting. It seems obvious that Google uses HTML as its intermediary format, and then converts on import and export, so it is easy to see (as a programmer) how this goes awry. The idea of running important documents through Google Docs is kind of scary (most of my stuff in there isn't that important); but the open source alternative, OpenGoo (OpenGoo.org) is noticeably inferior, in terms of UI, import, and export. Sorry for the ramble. :)
Bing is just a new four-letter word on top of an old four-letter word (live). A word on a word. A thing on a thing.
No problem, it was all on-topic. I would take issue with your characterization of the netbook as it has been named (on the internet). It is clearly a general-purpose computer with no more relationship to, or dependence on the internet as any other PC. On my netbook I easily run all of MS office including visio plus some large java applications. It doesn't break a sweat. I don't play videos on it, the screen is too small anyway.
On the other hand I have never run any Google applications, not their toolbar or any network applications. I prefer to have all my data right here on my 8GB SDHC card which I can pop out for safekeeping or transfer. I have about 10k documents taking up 1.5GB. I certainly would not trust google to hold onto them for me, nor would I want their networked apps on windows. OTOH, I also run linux on the netbook mostly for casual surfing like this message. I have better control over power, faster and more flexible tools (e.g. PDF converters and text manipulation, etc). I can certainly see a value in what Google is proposing because I do it myself, but with one caveat, my linux netbook is still completely useful without being on the internet.