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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: Competition
By osalcido on 7/8/2009 5:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
Who moderates this garbage?

[quote]Now you've got a heavy weight like Google entering the market, they have the power (money) to drive real commercialization of a Linux based OS.[/quote]

What the hell are RedHat and IBM? Chopped liver?
Linux has been commercialized for a decade.. just not on the Desktop, because there's NO money to be made there unless you start charging for Linux. The money is in mainframes and workstations.

I think the Article sums it up nicely..
"instead of porting Android over to netbooks immediately, it seems Chrome OS will help the void."

This is a temporary stopgap. All Linux pushers stop salivating.

RE: Competition
By DopeFishhh on 7/9/2009 10:41:37 AM , Rating: 2
OK i should probably have qualified that as desktop commercialization. But really that's what we are talking about isn't it?

There are other ways around charging for Linux specifically, some have made their money from selling expertise, others the extra software, and apple ties it to their hardware. Google would have more than enough money to be able to get a commercial version going anyway.

The other part to Google is that its not entirely a straight forward business, they've repeatedly demonstrated decisions that aren't purely oriented around profits. Frequently they do things just to see what becomes of it, their massive piles of cash ensure that they can absorb it if it doesn't turn out quite as well as they thought.

Heck knowing the culture of the Google development teams it's probably one of their whacky ideas that started something like "HEY GUYS! lets make our own OS!"

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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