Biggest news of the day: Google Chrome OS

by Volker Weber

It's been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. ... today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System.

If Google Chrome (browser) is any indication, then Microsoft execs should be shitting their pants. Once you start using Chrome everything else feels so last century. Slow, bloated, outdated.

An operating system is a more daunting task. Device drivers, software etc. How does Google tackle that? A new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. That's good, because Linux needs a new, much leaner windowing system with some vendor punch behind it.

Wake-up call to all software vendors: make sure your web apps run on Chrome. And start using Gears. You have approximately one year.

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Time to sell Microsoft stocks.

Philipp Sury, 2009-07-08

No, that was nine years ago.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-08

Google Chrome is a talkative piece of [censored] and it needs Iron to break it of radioing home.

But a talkative OS? Why not stick with Winhoes then?

Ralf Stellmacher, 2009-07-08

In essence, a lot of people are already living this way, working a vast majority of the time strictly within a browser. Add the offline working technologies like Gears and the (re) emergence of JavaScript on the server side, and it really is a logical result.

Of course Chrome is chatty. It is built around the concept of the way you work in a networked world, and Google is notorious for being a data driven company that uses formulas to figure out a lot of their decisions (trust in the natural order type of logic).

I don't think this does away with the need for other operating systems, but I think it signals a shift or a delineation between networked computer tasks and non-networked computer tasks.

Kevan Emmott, 2009-07-08

Wake-up call to all software vendors: make sure your web apps run on Chrome. And start using Gears. You have approximately one year.
And Google has approximately one year to do something about Webkit's dismal support for printed documents :-)

If Google Chrome (browser) is any indication, then Microsoft execs should be shitting their pants.
No, that was nine years ago (when they could actually have done something about it.)

David Richardson, 2009-07-08

Chrome makes stuff feel last century? Can't confirm that, to be honest.

Frank Quednau, 2009-07-08

The hardware manufacturers were too stupid to use Linux to their advantage. They introduced the first netbooks with Linux to keep the costs down and find a good balance between performance and usability. And botched it totally.
The EEE-PC I got my hands on had a Xandros/Asus Variant. Nice and simple interface, but completely useless as soon as you needed more. The Gmail icon pointed to a URL which in Europe simply doesn't work ie Changing the URL in the icon properties? I gave up. And installed Ubuntu (a derivative tuned for netbooks).
The best motive for that disaster seems to me that everyone of them, especially Asus, wanted to become AppleToo. But of course this didn't work. Now it is nearly impossible to get a non-Windows XP netbook buying from mainstream channels - and we continue to pay a tax to MS for every netbook we buy.
Apparently it needs someone like Google to force-feed the manufacturers for their own good. Because this will save about 20$ of the total netbook cost, how about sending half of those savings to the OLPC project?

Moritz Schroeder, 2009-07-08

I didn't like the Chrome browser very much. It actually felt slow. But afaik this is dependend on wether you use a lot of flash or not. Or was it Java? Never mind. Firefox is still more universal I think.

What I don't like in Chrome is the constant tracking of you internet behavior. Especially the link to your Gmail account, which in theory gives google the possibility to link your email account to your net behavior.

It's not a hard guess, that this won't change in the coming OS. I'm excited though, maybe someone will do the same thing with that OS, as they did with Chrome: Turn it into something, that doesent phone home all the time...SRWare Iron.

Johannes Matzke, 2009-07-08

Google doesn't need Chrome to track your behaviour. They already got you in a little cookie from, connected to your page hit counter in Google Analytics, connected to your GMail Account, connected to your Youtube profile, ...
You get the point.


Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2009-07-08

Besides the "OS War", an important message within the message is, that Google begins to announce things. Didn't they do best in simply throwing Beta-studies into the cloud? Once you begin to announce, you are in schedules you might miss. Microsoft is very good in missing schedules. Will Google catch up here?

Andreas Imnitzer, 2009-07-09

'Didn't they do best in simply throwing Beta-studies into the cloud? Once you begin to announce, you are in schedules you might miss.'

Because most of what Google offers to the world, it does so for free (at the point of delivery), there is a perception that they can be excused for not delivering stuff to any specific timescale - even, that the world is ungracious for expecting more from them. Reading Google developer fora can be an interesting exercise...

Google Earth API (and I'm doing increasing amounts of work that touches on this) is still not available for some browsers, and neither it nor the App works consistently on Macs. But because it is a free product, does the world have a right to expect delivery on this?

Google Chrome has been promising a Mac version since it first appeared - ditto. Maybe it will happen...

Google has been conducting experiments with the whole world as its 'sandbox', and it has been a brilliantly successful business approach. But there is always the slight fear that they don't have, or feel, any loyalty to any constituency of people except those for whom they have already been able to deliver - they just don't have the same business constraints as a Sun, a Microsoft, a IBM.

Having said all that - I'm a fan! And I think Wave could be a very big thing indeed.

Nick Daisley, 2009-07-09

Ich verstehe dieses "Wohhooooooo" nicht was wirklich durch alle Mediaen geht; sei es I-Net, Fernsehen oder Radio.
Es wird ein OS angekündigt --> das ist aber keine Eigenentwicklung an sich, es wird lediglich auf Linux zurückgegriffen. Wahrscheinlich werden die Programmen dann in Jails ausgeführt, kA wie man sonst eine höchstmögliche Sicherheit gewährleisten will. Jedoch erfindet Google dadurch nicht das Rad neu. Ob Google Chrome OS ein ernstzunehmender Konkurrent für Microsoft werden wird wage ich zu bezweifeln. Es gibt noch zu viele Business-Anwendungen die nur auf Microsoft Systemen laufen. Aber das ist ein anderes Thema.
Man kann den jetzigen Hype mit dem vom Android System vergleichen. Nichts für ungut; ich habe selbst ein Android Handy und findet die Umsetzung gut, zumal es ein Linux System ist. Wenn man das Ganze aber nüchtern betrachtet wird man feststellen, dass Android in keiner Konkurrenz zum iPhone OS oder Ähnlichem steht.
Ich befürchte fast, dass das Google Chrome OS den selben Weg einschlagen wird.

just my 2 cents


Rene Hellmann, 2009-07-09

@Moritz, why does not work in Europe? If I enter that into my browser's address bar, I am taken to my GMail account, just as expected. And I can assure you that I'm located in Europe, pretty centrally even.

Could it be that your confusing Europe with Germany?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2009-07-09

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