Google Dishes More Details On Chrome OS: Web-Connected, Out Next Year

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News Posted: Thu, Nov 19 2009 4:54 PM

For awhile, Google's Chrome OS has been somewhat of a mystery to end-users. It was introduced this summer, but all that we were ever provided was a cute logo and a few vague promises. Since that time, Microsoft has launched Windows 7 and Apple has introduced Snow Leopard, so it's about time for Google to step up to the plate and give everyone an update on its first non-mobile operating system.

Today, the search giant held a press conference in order to clarify more on Chrome OS, but unfortunately, there's not much here to please those demand instant gratification. Google itself admits that Chrome OS won't be ready for end users until next year, but it's taking a step in the direction of production by open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS. This means the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions.

One thing that was made very clear today was that Chrome OS is, and will always be, about the web. Every application that you'll load into Chrome OS will be connected in some way to the Internet, which is sure to enrage some of you and delight others. According to Google, the "entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications; this means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs." We understand that the cloud may be the future, but we're not quite sure our lifestyles and our existing Internet infrastructure is ready to handle that.

Google claims that since all of Chrome OS' applications live within the browser, security is heightened. To quote: "Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn't trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If your system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot. While no computer can be made completely secure, we're going to make life much harder (and less profitable) for the bad guys." Sounds good in theory, but who knows how much hassle that'll be in practice.

What do appreciate that Google is striving to make things are snappy as possible. Chrome OS will be stripped of unnecessary process, and in many ways that's possible due to the stripped-down nature of the OS. Without a doubt, this isn't going to replace Win7 or OS X. It can't handle apps like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Photoshop, but it should handle most things that basic users use on a day-to-day basis.

We're also hearing that Chrome OS won't just run on any old machine, which is probably the biggest announcement today. It'll only be able to run on specific hardware, which should optimize it greatly but alienate quite a few existing PC users who were hoping to try it out. Still, Chrome OS should be great for next year's netbooks, and possibly even a few UMPCs and MIDs. Unfortunately, that means we'll have to wait until next year to see how things pan out, but for now, the video below will get you thirsting for more.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Nov 19 2009 6:50 PM

>> Even the fastest computers... 45 seconds to boot....... it cranks through them one at a time....

No... no... no.... 19 seconds to boot Kubuntu here... as Upstart starts services concurrently.

From all I've read, ChromeOS is a stripped down Linux. It's a Linux kernel running a simplified X server with Chrome on top... not the major re-invention they make it out to be in the video.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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acarzt replied on Thu, Nov 19 2009 7:38 PM

when I first built my PC it booted vista in like 20 seconds.

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mhenriday replied on Fri, Nov 20 2009 6:50 AM

On the contrary, if the project succeeds - and I rather suspect it will - Chrome/Chromium OS should prove to be a real game changer ! I'm greatly looking forward to trying it out, even if it means purchasing a new machine with SSDs, etc....

Henri

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Nov 20 2009 11:40 PM

Here's a link to downloads for a build you can try in a VM: http://gdgt.com/google/chrome-os/download/

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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3vi1:

Here's a link to downloads for a build you can try in a VM: http://gdgt.com/google/chrome-os/download/

Darn you. I was coming to post this. I am downloading it now.

Edit: Up and running in Virtual box. I just used Linux 2.6 and the VMware image as the hard drive. It seems kinda cool. I am not sold on the tabs. Seems a lot like what Ubuntu Netbook does, but not as well. I really don't want my browser windows mixed with my apps. Still Very early and very slow and barebones.

Here is a pic of all the apps.

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Nov 23 2009 10:38 AM

Wowee an OS with apps for websites like on the iPhone. This looks like it will fail from the get go unless it is for an always internet connected system.

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Their logic on the OS makes sense, but if you don't have the interent, then you are screwed.  Need to write a paper but the internet is down? tough luck.

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