Google Chrome OS announced

, posted: 8-Jul-2009 17:48

The competition for Microsoft just heated up considerably, with the Google announcing that it intends to release an operating system aimed initially at Netbooks in the second half of next year. Google Chrome OS is the somewhat unimaginative name, and it's supposed to be fast, simple and secure.

"It should just work" might end up being Google VP Sundar Pichai and Engineering Director Linus Epson's famous last words but judging by the Chrome browser and Android mobile OS, the search engine giant should be able to produce something worthwhile.

While Chrome OS is supposed to have a minimalist user interface, it'll be curious to see what kind of windowing system Google intends to use with a Linux kernel.

Also, how will Google solve some of the thorny issues facing Linux device drivers that have to load binary non-open source driver BLOBs, for things like hardware accelerated 3D?

Looking at the larger picture, a Google OS could pique the interest of anti-monopoly regulators, especially if it will be closely tied in with Google webapps - making it Open Source should circumvent that though, but an Internet experience that's Google all the way from boot-up to the advertising and information that's presented to you in the Google browser does seem a little bit constricting.

The announcement seems to say the OS will be extremely web-centric, and potentially boot straight into a browser. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't know if I like the thought of that...

Update Mauricio made an interesting point earlier - Chrome OS might be ad supported. In fact, it's a reasonably safe bet it will be that, in some form or the other. That's a whole new kettle of fish, and one that could be controversial for regulatory reasons.

Other related posts:
Bombshell: Microsoft and Novell to interop on... Linux?
Woodcrest in Mac Pro and Apple OS X Leopard spots emerging
Vista slips until February 2007 or later?

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