There were always rumors that Google was developing an operating system. We are not speaking about Google Android, the operating system that is being installed on mobile devices like cellphones. No, this time we are talking about an operating system called Google Chrome OS which, as the name implies, is somewhat connected to the Google Chrome web browser. So what exactly is the Google Chrome operating system then?
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.
Google Chrome OS is basically Google Chrome running inside a new windowing system and Linux kernel that is compatible with both x86 and ARM chips. Applications for it can be written using web technologies which has the advantage that they are also working in other standard web browsers even if they run on operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Linux or Mac.
On the differences between Android and Google Chrome OS:
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
The operating system will obviously require an Internet connection to work. Even if many web applications can be run locally there is still the need to run some that cannot. That's a bummer for users with no Internet connection and those with slow Internet connections. What happens if the Internet connection becomes unavailable. Google will have to answer many questions like these in the near future.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.