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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 PrezWeezy on 7/8/2009 5:42:53 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree that Microsoft is "killing" PC gaming. True less games that appeal to you may be available; however, that is not the result of Microsoft. That is a result of development cost. The truth is that XboX/PS3/Wii are standard platforms. You don't need to make the shading adjustable for different video cards. No tweaks to make sure it runs equally well on a $1,000 PC as a $5,000 PC. It's just cheaper to make a game for the XboX. That's not MS's doing, that's just economics.


RE: Why Linux and not BSD?
By tviceman on 7/9/2009 12:55:51 PM , Rating: 1
You're wrong here.

For every single game that sells on the 360, Microsoft gets a royalty fee. These same games net Microsoft ZERO dollars when sold on PC. So lets say you have both a 360 and a great gaming PC. Elder Scrolls IV comes out. With mods, better graphics, and mouse/kb control scheme you will likely buy it on PC.

But lets say this game comes out on the 360 4 months in advance of the PC release. Your likelihood of purchasing it on PC just went down the tubes. And if this is a game you really, really want but don't have a 360, the chances of you buying a 360 just skyrocketed.

On the PC, Microsoft gets ZERO royalty dollars for software you buy (unless microsoft made or published it). On the 360, they get your money with every purchase you make.


RE: Why Linux and not BSD?
By Sazar on 7/9/2009 2:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
So you are saying the FACT that you need a MICROSOFT Operating system to play the WINDOWS based games doesn't net Microsoft money?

Also, the video cards that we buy to play these games on our PC's typically run WHQL drivers which also net Microsoft money from licensing/testing costs.

Sure, the 360 probably makes more money per unit, but it is a complete solution. Microsoft's Windows platform is still THE cash-cow for the company however.

I don't think I am alone in waiting for cross-platform games such as FPS's and other games to come out on the PC because we know the experience will be better, the content richer and the MP superior in every way.


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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