Today, Google announced an operating system called Chrome OS. It is supposed to be available for customers in the second half of 2010. Like the Chrome browser, Chrome OS is designed to be be lightweight, minimalistic, fast, and simple to use. The system is targeted to run on low-preformance machines like netbooks and is based on a linux kernel and the Chrome web browser.
And, in fact, there won’t be much more. According to the official announcement, Google Chrome OS is for people who spend most of their time on the web. “For application developers, the web is the platform.” This sounds to me like the only application executable on Chrome OS is the Chrome browser. I definitely hope that there will be some cool offline functions as well. And – please – not only by using Google Gears. Till now, there is not much known about additional software features so we have to wait for coming announcements, presumably in fall. Nevertheless, because Google constantly emphasizes the benefits of cloud computing, we shouldn’t be too optimistic that there will be a great offline environment.
Google states that the operating system runs on classic x86 platforms as well as ARM platforms that are commonly used in consumer electronics like PDAs, mobiles and computer peripherals. Maybe someday in the near future you can edit your documents directly on your printer then. How awesome is that? Well, awesome, yet pretty probable.
Another really good thing about Google Chrome OS is that it will be free and open source. In the announcement, Google admits they will be needing the help of the open source community. Of course, I will keep you up to date. What do you think about Chrome OS? Please leave a reply!