Google branded Chrome OS netbook

Google Chrome LogoAfter details about Google offering a Google branded phone called Nexus One word is that they also come up with  their own Chrome OS netbook in 2010. According to TechCrunch, multiple sources report that the company already has issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) to a hardware manufacturer specifying details about the system. The document, however, hasn’t got public till now. It seems probable (also regarding costs) that the upcoming Google netbook will be 3G enabled and running on an NVIDIA Tegra platform using an ARM processor and a GeForce GPU which would make it very powerful and energy efficient at the same time.

Chrome OS to be released within a week

Google Chrome LogoAccording to an article on TechCrunch, Google is going to release Chrome OS within a week from now, thereby keeping their promise to give “more updates” in fall 2009. If true, Chrome OS will be available before 20th November, 2009. TechCrunch claims to have this information from “a reliable source”.

I’m expecting an early version with limited compatibility, because when they announced Chrome OS in July they said they’d need a lot of help from the open source community. This help could very likely be needed in driver support. Depending on which kernel Chrome OS will be based on there already are more or less drivers available for the most popular hardware components. But Google resolved to build an OS that runs on any hardware (including ARM-based machines), so there’s probably a lot of work to do on this subject. I hope even the first version will be compatible to major netbooks from companies Google is working together with (Asus EeePC, Acer Aspire One, HP Mini, …) and major virtualization systems (VMware, Sun VirtualBox, …).

DownloadSquad recently discovered a “mount library” in the Chrome browser’s source code. It seems to be monitoring newly-inserted devices like external hard rives or USB sticks. This is something you’d normally expect from an OS, not a browser, and may be a hint to an Explorer-like behaviour of the browser.

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Fake beta of Chrome OS available for download

Google Chrome Logo[UPDATE 11/19: Google officially released the source code of Chrome OS. You can find a tutorial on how to install it here.]

Now finally a fake distribution of Chrome OS appeared on the internet. To an unexperienced user, it may look like it is actually released by Google, but IT IS NOT! At someone created a download site for it using Google Sites. Due to the Google URL it may appear to be the original one. It also appeared on several download sites with Google Inc. as developer. In fact it is a personal distribution created with SUSE studio. I don’t know how it looks like, because I haven’t tried it yet and of course I won’t. Please don’t download it and don’t link the site. It’s a scam. Please leave comments.

[UPDATE 09/22: SUSE studio has now removed the file.]

[UPDATE 09/23: I wonder why Google doesn’t permanently delete the fake site from their servers. Some sites reported it was unavailable but now it is up again. Now even the download from SUSE studio is up again. Please DO NOT download it. It is a simple distribution created with the SUSE studio website. It is NOT Chrome OS.]

[UPDATE 09/25: The guys at Downloadsquad actually tried the download. See what they experienced at]

[UPDATE 09/26: I can’t take it anymore. Why does everybody keep tweeting the URL to the download site? It is so obvious. The site even says they are not related to Google.]

[UPDATE 10/28: WTF?!? Obviously the guys at Gizmodo posted an article about the Chrome OS beta being available for download again which caused tons of twitter and blog posts promoting the site. Obviously all these people were fooled. In the meantime, Google removed the fake download site. I hope once and for all. Awkward: Gizmodo completely removed the article from the site instead of posting a correction.]

No more news on Chrome OS: why?

NewsThere hasn’t been an official news release by Google for two months now. I’m wondering if this is a good or a bad sign. If it is really supposed to be released in 2010, why shouldn’t Google give some information on some of the features in late 2009?! They certainly would have to be in a quite advanced stage of development by now. Instead, by remaining silent, they made the rumor bomb go off during the past two months. Tons of potential features and screenshots flooded the web, resulting in a conglomerate of data about how people want Chrome OS to be. Well, knowing Google, I’d not be surprised if that was a form of planned marketing research and they had us working for them without even noticing it.

More screenshots of Chrome OS

Chrome OS screenshots 2The makers of Chrome OS screenshots in the past weeks obviously gained imitators. I found another set of likely-fake screenshots on This time the authenticity is confirmed by a “genuine” Google Development Team sticker. The operating system is Google Chrome OS Alpha 1.01 and it looks like the Chrome browser with some extra tabs like “System” and “Recent Apps”. One thing I’m missing one these screenshots is the possibillity to actually start another program. Continue reading “More screenshots of Chrome OS”