Google has officially announced that their Chrome product, which started out as a web browser for Windows and Mac OS X, will soon be evolving into a full-fledged operating system for netbooks.
It's been an exciting nine months since the Google Chrome browser was launched. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. Google designed 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 that's why Google is 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, Google will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because Google is already talking to partners about the project, and they will soon be working with the open source community, they 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. Google is 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 they did for the Google Chrome browser, Google is 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 Google is 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, Google believes that choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.