Update – Chrome OS

Google-Chrome-OSI last wrote about the Chrome OS in July, and as Google recently released the project to the open source community, felt it warranted an update.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.

Netbooks have been the best-selling segment of the PC market during the recession — because they’re cheaper.  Contrary to perceptions that everyone is buying them because they’re highly mobile, a recent consumer survey found that 60% of buyers never took them out of the house.

Google is trying to create an OS built around “Software as a Service” that replaces applications a user might run on their own computer with applications that run on ‘cloud’ servers.

Here’s the latest from Google, released in an official blog post dated 11/19/2009:

Today we are open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS. We are doing this early, a year before Google Chrome OS will be ready for users, because we are eager to engage with partners, the open source community and developers.

Although they’re releasing it to the open-source community, it won’t be available to consumers until this time next year.

First, it’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn’t trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer.

If the system detects something peculiar, it will restore the affected areas from the cloud.

Most of all, we are obsessed with speed. We are taking out every unnecessary process, optimizing many operations and running everything possible in parallel. This means you can go from turning on the computer to surfing the web in a few seconds.

Chrome OS will not support slower traditional hard drives.  Instead, it will only feature smaller, faster, solid-state drives (SSD ) and rely on the cloud to store documents and photos, meaning you can forget about keeping your giant music collection on one of these babies.

Chrome OS could be the ultimate OS when it arrives – but will Google also pull 50,000+ applications out of thin air to make it a comparable tool to Windows? No matter how great it is, it’s only as good as the software it utilizes.  As an incentive to developers – because it’s based on a Web browser, every app developed for Chrome will also run perfectly on Windows or the Mac.

It begs the question – Are browsers and web applications mature enough to replace traditional software?

About the Author:

Ken Ivey, aka “the Web Czar” – wants to help you leverage technology to reach your goals.  Contact Ken for a free initial consultation to see how the web can work for you.  His website is www.kenivey.com

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