Google Chrome OS: Way to drive innovation? Or just drive e-book app developers nut?

image As if developers lack enough operating systems to deal with, Google is introducing the Chrome OS for desktops.

But apparently there’s a helpful twist—the ability of the related apps to run even on browsers using other operating systems. So could this indeed give developers larger user bases and minimal needs for ports? Hmm, stay tuned to see if Google can pull it off.

Image is of the existing Chrome browser. Meanwhile here’s an excerpt from the Google Blog, discussing the Chrome OS.

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 will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.

8 Comments on Google Chrome OS: Way to drive innovation? Or just drive e-book app developers nut?

  1. This sounds like a nifty idea for netbooks. However, they need to make sure the netbooks have super duper battery life if they want people to be online all the time. And I hope some apps are local and don’t require connection to the cloud.

  2. Tamas Simon // July 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm //

    David, why are you worried?
    When will the ebook community finally realize that the ebook platform is the browser?
    The new e-pub hype is basically HTML files zipped for easy shipping.
    Besides, adobe uses the same WebKit engine for rendering as does Apple’s Safari browser and Google’s Chrome.

    Instead the focus should be on HTML5 – the new web standard supported by Google’s Chrome browser (as well as others)
    New features include
    downloadable fonts – we can expect better typography
    canvas – custom drawing – think of it as a Flash killer

    And Mags, yes it will work offline too. Google already has the technology for this, called Gears.

    Also on the long run expect battery life to improve and net access to become ubiquitous…
    I think “books” will just go online.

  3. “But apparently there’s a helpful twist — the ability of the related apps to run even on browsers using other operating systems”

    Well, I’ve been using Gmail, Google Docs, Yahoo mail, YouTube, and many other webapps on my iBook for years now.

    The key here, David, is that this ChrOS has no apps. None at all, according to what little they’ve announced so far. It’s just going to be on CrunchPad-alikes: boots in seconds into the browser, has you on the web, from there you access webapps as you do today with Chrome/Chromium.

    Now I’d like to think that at least some of these CrunchPad-alikes will have some onboard user storage, so you could run google docs, et al, when you’re offline. But it won’t be necessary.

  4. Tamas: I’m not worried If Google does it right and doesn’t include proprietary gotchas. Thanks. David

  5. Chrome OS would be very competitive on Microsoft operating systems. I was thinking that one day, Google would launch an Operating system that would complete with Windows XP or Vista. Google and Microsoft would compete head to head now that Microsft launched its Bing search engine.

  6. i tried Chrome OS and it is pretty much like a scaled down version of Ubuntu. Chrome is just based on Linux and there is nothing new about it.

  7. Chrome OS is just another rebranded Linux GUI, it would be much better if Google came up with an OS that would directly compete with Windows. x

  8. i have tested chrome os both at home and at work, it does not seem to be better than ubuntu:~’

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