Chrome OS: Google to Build Its Own Operating System

Jul 09, 2009

In the official Google blog, VP of product management Sundar Pichai and engineering director Linus Upson announce plans to develop a Google Chrome OS.

Operating systems that run on browsers today often come from the pre-Web era, such is the basis behind Google's step. Chrome OS should be resource-sensitive and user friendly, faster, easier to operate and more secure, among the core goals. The idea is to "start up and get you onto the Web in a few seconds," with a miminal yet intuitive user interface. Netbooks with x86 or ARM processors count among the first hardware platforms, with desktops soon to follow. Chrome OS thereby distinguishes itself from Android, which is primarily geared to mobile phones and portable devices. The second half of 2010 should begin showing preinstalled Chrome OS on devices, with the source code opened later this year. Google is negotiating with still unnamed OEMs for release to market, with further announcements to the community.

The blog indicates, "The software architecture is simple (...) Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel." Google will not be relying on X11, but will develop its own window management. The Web is the primary development platform for Chrome OS and existing Web applications should run out-of-the-box. The Chrome OS name is key: the OS is the browser. Applications written for Chrome OS should nonetheless still run on standard browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux.

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