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Google finally ends long-term speculation, announcing a new Chrome OS

Google publicly announced it is working on a new Linux-based operating system aimed to compete against Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X.

Chrome OS is being designed by Google engineers for netbooks and is completely independent from its Android OS currently used on a growing number of smartphones.

"Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks," the company said in a blog post.  "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."

The OS itself is expected to make its debut sometime later this year.

Since Chrome OS will be available under an open source license, programmers can freely edit and modify the OS's code.  Furthermore, the OS will be designed for Intel and ARM processors, and could eventually transition away from netbooks to PCs and laptops.

The OS is specifically designed for users who use the internet heavily and won't be ideal for people who aren't connected to the internet often.  Google has said it would continue to launch new products and services in the cloud, including its own Gmail and Google Docs, but very few people expected an OS announcement.

Chrome OS will focus on speed, simplicity and security, and reportedly is a lightweight OS that will be able to boot up in just a few seconds.  Google hopes its interface will be simple enough for all users, with the GUI and user experience expected to be heavily Web-based.

Google is calling for help from the open source community to help work on the OS and iron out any bugs that may arise.

Many Google supporters said the company would eventually release a new OS -- wishful thinking, some analysts said -- but it appears to be a move that could move from netbooks to regular laptops.  Android, which is popular on smartphones, has led several manufacturers to begin using the OS on netbooks currently in development -- instead of porting Android over to netbooks immediately, it seems Chrome OS will help the void.

"We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear -- computers need to get better," the blog also reads.

Microsoft has long-ruled the OS market, but has faced increased pressure from Linux, and must now contend with yet another competitor.  Google has eaten into Microsoft's control of internet offerings, with its Google search engine, Gmail e-mail service, and other cloud-based services.

"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," the Google blog ends.

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RE: Why Linux and not BSD?
By Belard on 7/8/2009 3:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
I want to use any network management apps I go to Control Panel/Admin Tools. In Linux, there would be 13 Control Panels, one named Control Panel, another named Admin Mods, another named Raped Goat, another named PARzChiclet... This is ridiculous.

Is it really Raped Goat? Man, the names they come up with! But yeah, after all these years, Linux needs to grow up. If you meet many of these talented people who work on Linux (many are NOT making a dime, mind you) they like being in the club of "Gods", in a sense. To use an OS that grandma can't handle.

But I've grown up on a "nix" OS in the 80s. AmigaOS is a consumer version of Unix... Hence, the worlds first multi-tasking OS for Personal Computers... God, using a Mac, MS-DOS and Windows 3~98 was is like "WTF!?"... okay, Win9x does Mult-task, but its strong ties to DOS shows. But AmigaOS was designed by 1 company and maintained to be designed for both a novice and power user. Not buy thousands of people all over the world who design for other programmers.

And its not needed. Even IF you're a power user, it shouldn't require 10~13 locations to setup a wireless network. That takes up time.

Linux is getting there... but I'd agree they have a long ways to go. And they have to ACTUALLY think about the bigger picture.

RE: Why Linux and not BSD?
By The0ne on 7/8/2009 6:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's the geeks in these programmers. My co-workers are the same. Their revision makes no sense to anyone but themselves. I asked them many times to use a simple revision format but they laugh like I was crazy. Now imagine having to dig this correlation up and forward for the CO release and manufacturer. And yes, they code in linux.

Somehow, making things easy sometimes is just too much for them to consider >.>

RE: Why Linux and not BSD?
By Belard on 7/10/2009 8:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
I see such things in "geekdom" all the time. Sci-fi, Anime, computers, etc. Its a "club" thing. In the end, the real value is small...

I'll give it to Bill Gates to think big... just think, their first OS, (DOS) they didnt even code/create. Just like most things they do... buy / repackage / re-engineer then sell.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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