Watch out Apple and Microsoft: here's Google's OS

Wed 8 July 2009 08:20, Bas van den Beld

Watch out Apple and Microsoft: here's Google's OS

It was bound to be coming and now its there: The Google Chrome OS. The launch of Chrome and the launch of Android on mobile devices were a step up to the bigger work: Google OS.

Google calls it the "natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System". An attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

The OS will be released later this year, probably in the fall. The system is an open source operating system which is supposed to be a very light OS which is intended for netbooks. The netbooks will probably be launched in the US but the open source could be available worldwide, and therefore in Europe, right away.

With it being open source Google also expects consumers to try it on their PC's though. Google Chrome OS will be available for on netbooks for consumers in the second half of 2010. The source will be given free later this year. Google has not yet released who will be the manufacturer of the netbooks.

Google Chrome is not the expanded version of Android, Google says. Chrome is built especcially with computers in mind where Android is built for mobile devices. But that the two are tight together has no doubt.

Some key points on the OS which Google points out in their blogpost on the new system:

  • Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS.
  • The user interface is minimal
  • Most of the user experience takes place on the web
  • Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs
  • Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel

So what will this do to the 'war' between Google and Microsoft? Undoubtfully the battle is being sharpened. At about the same time as Google OS launches Microsoft will be rolling out Windows 7 to the world. Most probably the ones 'used to' Microsoft will stick with Microsoft, but chances are that the open source community and developers in general will be looking at Google OS. Also Google's friends at Apple will be looking across to see what's going on. Within a year Google became a competitor with launching a browser and now an OS. How will Steve Jobs react to that now he's back at his desk?

What will be interesting to see is how Google will be handling the legal issues. Will it for example put the browser Chrome into the OS, something Microsoft just recently stopped doing with IE? The EU will be looking at Google closely I suspect.

More on this subject:

Official Google blogpost



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