Google Chrome OS – Rethink What OS Should Be
One week ago, some thrilling news was published on
Google’s blog: they announced the release of Google Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. So what exactly is this project and how will it influence the perception of an OS?
First of all, as they say: “the Google Chrome Operating System is a natural extension of Google Chrome. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.” Although is based on a Linux kernel, Chrome OS will have the web and all Google’s services as its backbone. Therefore is an open source, fast, simple, lightweight and secure operating system.
Google’s initial target market will be netbooks, but I’ll bet we are going to see it also on PCs, as soon as they release the beta version next year. One interesting thing in their announcement is that this OS is running on both x86 as well as ARM chips which mean a high portability. So all the apps written in Chrome OS are going to use web technology therefore they will also run on “any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform”. The web is the platform for developers. The browser is the UI.
Google Chrome is a browser-based OS and its focus is entirely on the web. The target group for this project is the users who spend the majority of their time on the web. Since the increasing necessity for a faster and better working computer, users “don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware.” Thus OS developers have tried to come up with a solution but none of them have solved it. But Google thinks it found the solution for the satisfaction of all users. It is possible, but we’ll have to wait until 2010 and see for ourselves.
Finally I would add some statistics to draw a conclusion. In present Chrome browser has 30 million active users, according to Google, and tracking services say it has 6% market share. It’s relatively a small number but considering the fact that it has less than a year since it was released it’s pretty promising. Chrome has changed the perception of what a really good browser should act. So, if Google Chrome OS will change the user perception about an operating system and will redefine the meaning of an OS….then this will be a great victory for Google, considering the battle between the giants.