Google to launch operating system based on its Chrome browser

News by Dan Raywood

Google is to launch an operating system (OS) to compete with Microsoft.

Google is to launch an operating system (OS) to compete with Microsoft.

Following the introduction of the Google Chrome browser last year, the Chrome OS will be aimed initially at netbooks and will be introduced in around a year.

Writing in a Google company blog, Sundar Pichai, VP product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, claimed that it was an ‘attempt to re-think what operating systems should be'.

They claimed that speed, simplicity and security will be the key aspects of Google Chrome OS and that it will be designed to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds.

Pichai and Upson said: “The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, 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.”

It will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and Google is working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year.

The company claimed that the software architecture is simple as it works around Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform and all web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using favourite web technologies.

Pichai and Upson said: “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.”

Rob Enderle, industry watcher and president of the Enderle Group, told the BBC: “This announcement is huge. This is the first time we have had a truly competitive OS on the market in years. This is potentially disruptive and is the first real attempt by anyone to go after Microsoft.

“Google is coming at this fresh and, because it is based on a set of services that reside on the web, it is the first really post web operating system, designed from the ground up, and reconceived for a web world.”
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