What We Need To Know About Chrome OS

A few industry journalists seemed confused about Google Chrome the browser and Google Chrome OS the operating system in today’s webcast of Google Chrome OS Open Source Project Announcement. Make no mistake, Chrome OS boots your machine – in 7 seconds!

Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system optimized for- and devoted to- the Web.

In the webcast, Google revealed several details of their Chrome OS product vision. Sundar Pichai, VP of product management said:

We want Google Chrome OS to be blazingly fast…
to boot up like a TV

Chrome OS

  • Targets users who spend most of their time on the web. Um… like everybody.
  • Is a fundamentally different model of computing — relying on cloud computing (e.g., your computer does not manage data).
  • Runs web apps residing on remote servers, rather than on hardware devices.
  • Users won’t install applications since the OS runs web apps.
  • Users won’t install anti-virus protection since the OS monitors malicious activity via internal systems like verified boot and malware protection.
  • Runs javascript super fast
  • Supports the W3C notification API for real time notifications.
  • Is an open source project released to the public on November 19, 2009. The project is known as Chromium OS (Chromium OS is what Google calls developer builds of Chrome OS).

Every capability you want today, in the future it will be written as a web application
~ Sundar Pichai

Hardware

  • Chrome OS targets netbook computers. It is tuned to run on hardware with x86 or ARM processors under the hood.
  • Hewlett-Packard and Acer are working with Google to create devices running Chrome OS (cf. HP, Acer Developing Google Chrome OS Netbooks).
  • Chrome OS supports keyboard, mice, standard storage devices (e.g., non-volatile flash memory), and droid phones.
  • Chrome OS will have printer support that will be announced in the future.

Factoids

The wired.com post Five Things Google’s Chrome OS Will Do for Your Netbook distills the attraction of Chrome OS to

  1. Cost;
  2. Speed;
  3. Compatibility;
  4. Portablity; and
  5. New Applications.

Business Strategy

Chrome OS is a bold move by Google in the competition between Google and Microsoft for the badge of digital dominance. I am a Microsoft whore, but I am betting on Google. Here’s why…

Dude #1 fires up Windows 7 on notebook.
Dude #2 boots Chrome OS on a Netbook in 7 seconds
Dude #2 has GMail read before Dude #1 sees login prompt.

Asked about Google’s strategic position with Chrome OS, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said

We really focus on user needs rather than think about strategy relative to other companies…a web platform on stateless machines that are performant.

Watch a 3:30 minute video excerpt of the Q&A from today’s webcast from TechCrunch. Or, view the entire announcement video, including a live demo (~80 minutes).

Like a Hobo on a Ham Sandwich

What to get on Chrome OS running on a virtual machine using Sun’s free software VirtualBox (for PCs, Macs, and Linux)? TechCrunch gives a step-by-step walk-through in the post Want To Try Out Google Chrome OS For Yourself?.

5 thoughts on “What We Need To Know About Chrome OS

  1. This is all good. But what if I have private data (such as my bank details, passwords etc.) that I don't want to share with the world? Does cloud model have a solution for privacy?

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  2. Ergun – probably stores your passwords locally in the form of cookies like browsers do today. Unless Chrome on Google OS won't be using them – which I would be amazed at.

    Or perhaps a local password cache, which some browsers e.g. Firefox do.

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  3. I meant the ability to determine the encryption method and control storage by entirely private means that I choose without the intervention of Cloud (to/from a flash drive for instance), no browser cache, no cookies. The fundemental question is, can you protect privacy and individual freedom of expression adequetly by Chrome OS model and how? How do I know my private data is secure and why should I trust the Cloud? Google for instance censored itself in China. If I live in China how do I know Google won't expose my private data to the Chinese government through Chrome OS model?

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  4. Virtual Studio is the pioneer web cast streaming service provider company in India based out of New Delhi, having web cast for various corporates and multinationals, a number of events of international importance. Starting from being the official webcasters of the ‘Pop John Pall’s visit to India in 1999; they have covered it all from Bill Clinton to Bill Gates. International Events such as Executive Assembly of World Energy Council to Multi Location simulcast of Golden Jublee Celebration of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons. Live Series of Technology Programs for MSN to whole of Cricket series including ICC World Cup 2003 to 2007; T20; Gavaskar Border Series 2008(India vs Australia); ICL; IPL 2009. Dreamspark launch by Bill Gates at IIT Delhi. Live streaming of 10 Channels of World Space satellite radio. And scores of live and on demand streaming web casts in between. For all streaming needs including live streaming services from India, the leading live streaming services provider is also providing on demand streaming services. In fact Virtual Studio is a preferred web cast streaming media company with its head office based in Delhi.

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