Google unveils plans to dominate devices
Web giant Google must have sent the mother of all shivers down Microsoft’s spine on Tuesday, when it announced plans to launch a full fledged operating system in 2010.
Bringing its efforts in the web browser and small footprint operating system spaces together, Google Chrome OS marks a further encroachment on Microsoft’s territory and reinforces speculation on the firm’s plans for world domination.
Google kick started the Android project in November 2007, carving itself a niche in the mobile and portable devices space as well as set top boxes and other consumer electronics. Then in September 2008, the web giant launched the Chrome browser, which neatly integrates with Google’s online services and is targeted at online users.
Chrome OS goes one step further and should cause both Microsoft and the Linux community cause for concern by being the first OS designed from the ground up by a company that really understands the online world.
“The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web,” said Sundar Pichai, VP of product management at Google, “[Google Chrome Operating System is] our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.”
Pichai described Chrome OS an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks, and sounds like it has a lot in common with Android. The OS is designed to be fast and lightweight and get users onto the web in a few seconds where most of the user experience takes place, with a minimal user interface.
“We are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work,” said Pichai.
Essentially, the platform will be Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. The OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips pitching it at the mobile and desktop markets, and for application developers, the web is the platform, using standard technologies that run on Chrome, Windows, MacOS and Linux.
As with Android, Google is tapping the open source community to drive Chrome forward. Later this year the firm will open source the code base, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.