The other day I was in the car with a bunch of guys going out to lunch. One of them asked me what I thought about the Google Chrome operating system. I told him I did not think Google was in the operating system business. Well I was wrong on a few accounts. Google already has the Android operating system for mobile phones. More importantly, Google just announced that they are working on the Google Chrome Operating System.
The Chrome O/S will be open source. There are rumors that it will be free. I have also heard some speculate that there will be a small cost for it. It will initially be targeted for netbooks. The goal is for the O/S to be able to start up quickly (i.e. a couple seconds).
You would think that it would take a long time to create an operating system from scratch. Google said that this is going to be different from Android. However the key is that they are going to run on top of the Linux kernel. That makes this a much smaller scope. Yeah it is a little more than just Chrome running on Linux. The point is that they may be able to pull this off by the second half of 2010, which is when they think they will release the O/S.
What is the big deal about this announcement? Well it might cause Microsoft to react in ways it has not in the past. Microsoft Windows could get a shave in price. Better yet, perhaps Microsoft will come out with its own new lightweight O/S. This announcement by Google may diminish the role or importance of Google Android.
I think I will hold my excitement over this development until I see the Google Chrome operating system code being released as open source. Then I will see what type of code we are dealing with. It will also be significant when Google actually ships this thing. I bet it may be like other Google products where it remains in Beta forever. Hopefully it will also not pan out to be like some other Google products (other than search) which are not first rate.
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