Google gets into Operating System Game – Announces Chrome OS

Browser/OS (it’s the same now!) war has taken an interesting turn – today, Google has announced Chrome OS, an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.

As the blog-post clearly mentions, Google is looking at building an open-source Operating System from ground up; keeping the usability in line with a changed scenario from an era of no-web (hey MS! is that you?) into a world that’s integrated completely via emails, social networks and search media.

google chrome web operating system

Google Chrome's web operating system vs. MS

“It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.” – a statement that definitely implies a muscular push against what our current Operating Systems are made of. Obviously, the MS Windows couldn’t be hit harder on this account where Google confirms to keep the OS lightweight, secure and simplistic.

While Microsoft rides on an impressive Bing, Google seems to have aptly replied by a surefooted take on the Windows. It’s clearly anything but a natural extension of the Google Chrome Browser, as their blog states.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. 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.

The OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and willbe available in second half of 2010. Google is working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year.

For industry insiders, this may not come as a surprise – Google has been talking about it’s vision of delivering apps over the cloud since early 2000 and Google OS story was shunted when Google launched Chrome (everybody thought Google was talking about Chrome and not OS?)

Google’s vision of Chrome OS

We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.

Operating System Market Share

Operating system (OS) Market Share

Operating system (OS) Market Share

What about Android? Isn’t it supposed to work on Netbooks?

Google doesn’t have a clear answer, but this is what they say

Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. 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.

All said and done, Google Chrome OS is a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and Google is pretty much poking it’s competition with open source OS – Android and now, Chrome OS.

Netbook Industry – some perspective

Thanks to global downturn, PC market has shrinked and Netbooks has shown a strong growth (and that’s where lies a huge opportunity for companies to cash on the emerging segment). For instance:

  • Intel is targeting the Netbooks market with it’s Moblin OS (linux based).
  • Microsoft’s Windows7 will run on Netbooks as well. MS even started giving away XP at a lesser price to Netbooks users.

Exciting times ahead! The world is changing!

What’s your opinion?