Google announces Chrome operating system

Google announces Chrome operating system

Summary: The Google Chrome Operating System project aims to build a Linux-based OS available for purchase on netbooks in the second half of 2010

TOPICS: Networking

Google on Tuesday announced the creation of the Google Chrome Operating System project, with the goal to build a Linux-based OS available for purchase on netbooks in the second half of 2010.

The search giant said in a blog post that most of the user experience will happen on the web, and the interface will follow the minimal Chrome browser aesthetic.

"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 company said.

Google said it had already been talking to partners for the project, although none was named. The project's source code will be open sourced later this year and is intended to run on x86 as well as ARM chips. A new windowing system will be created to run on top of the Linux kernel.

Harking back to the original third-party application development model for the iPhone, Google stated that application development will be web-based.

Read this


Leader: Google Chrome OS takes shine off Windows

The Chrome OS is perfectly pitched at Microsoft's weaknesses…

Read more

Google stressed the separation between Google Chrome OS and Android: the former is targeted at users spending the majority of their time on the web on netbooks and full-blown desktops, whereas Android is aimed at phones, set-top boxes and netbooks.

"While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google," the search giant said.

Topic: Networking


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • The gloves are off

    So - Google is going for Microsoft head-on.

    Spearheading its move into the OS market on netbooks makes sense because it allows Google to test its technology in a lower-profile environment. But make no mistake, this is the start of a bid for Microsoft's heartland: desktops and servers.

    Looks like we are set for a very entertaining battle with the winners being end users - and, I feel - especially those of us who care about the technology we use, who want to see open source succeed, and who want to see Redmond's approach sharpened by true competition.

    Game on!
    Manek Dubash
  • fun times ahead

    agereed, manek, things are looking very entertaining for the near future... I'll bring the popcorn! :D
  • Extremely Interesting

    Wow, this is very big news. Finally a company getting into the operating system market that can not be squashed by Microsoft. If Ballmer really thought before that Window's biggest competition was Linux, he should really have something to think about now.

    I am mildly concerned by one seemingly small statement: "A new windowing system will be created to run on top of the Linux kernel." Hmmm. It will be interesting to see what this really means, and what the implications are if they really are talking about developing a completely new windowing system.

  • A new windowing system

    Lets face it, as of now there is very little distinction between windowing systems. Everybody copies everybody, and it is starting to get a little dull.
    Steve may be throwing more than chairs on this news.
  • Always Part of googles strategy to own the stack

    This has always been part of Googles strategy and was predicted last year ( see ).

    If it is as fast, easy and feature cool as Chrome, then Microsoft will have as real fight on its hands particularly in the netbook market.
  • Privacy Issues

    I don't use the Google Chrome browser because I strongly object to the amount and type of information that it continuously sends back to Google. I have been surprised that there has been very little discussion of this, and even less objection to it. Now, I wonder how much and what kind of information the Chrome OS will be sending to Google? The potential is certainly there, and it is likely that Google has learned from the general acceptance of the Chrome Browser activities that people either don't notice, don't care, or otherwise won't object to being monitored.

  • Re: Privacy Issues

    I use SRWare Iron which is Google Chrome stripped of some of it's 'monitoring' capabilities. However, to avoid Google's 'interest', it's also necessary to shun Google's search engine as well.
    The Former Moley
  • About collecting data etc.

    It seems to me that this OS is going to be open source.
    If that is the case, then surely it will be possible to then find out what kind of tracking there will be.
    Apart from that: As it is now, when we are using Windows, we are spyed upon by various entities without our knowledge ever so often.
    Being as this OS is going to be based on Linux, it should also be possible to use another browser such as Firefox or Opera, if we do not trust Googles browser.
  • Yeeeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I almost didn't believe it! This is the best news ever. Even if Google isn't able to shove Microsoft aside hard enough to reach market parity, the fact that they are in the market is great. Microsoft will have to contend with a serious threat to their arcane and trade-restrictive business model. If nothing else it might bust up the over-priced shrinkwrap and OEM disk market for Windows.

    The two Google aps I won't let run on my systems are Picasa and Google Desktop for the same reason for both. The freaking hard drive grinding to make up indexes for pictures or text. Google hasn't always hit on the best UI or killer ap with everything they've done but my gut feeling is that they're doing better than Microsoft overall. Windows Search 4.0 validated to me that Microsoft can't do desktop search any better than Google.

    On the other hand having another major software group working on a different user interface design means that Linux will be improved also. There will be three major desktops, KDE, Gnome and Chrome.

    Browser wars are back! With Firefox and Chrome both performing better than even Microsoft's latest browser, third or fourth place ought to wake up somebody at One Microsoft Way.

    Yes there are privacy concerns with Google's browsers that still remain un-addressed. But you can turn off most of the demographic skulduggery and have a very interesting web browsing experience. I used it today to open some pages on that wiki product I hate but have to use and the pages almost made audible pops as they opened. (Yes I emptied the web page cache first!) At first I thought that the speakers were on but I looked at them and they were off. Somewhere between my ears the action-adventure "movie" got a sound effects track!

    I've downloaded Chrome version 2.0 and have run it both at home and at work. It is blazing fast compared to IE7 or 8 and still faster than FireFox 3.5. If Google can maintain that sort of performance in their Chrome OS it will be the Windows killer that might actually keep Windows in third place.
  • Is it the same?

    Not everyone lives the 'urban dream' so this device wouldn't suit a lot of people. Anyone with less than 'always on' broadband will find this product unsuitable. But who will tell them?

    As for the browser straight on the tin, so to speak, does anyone remember Oracle's Raw Iron?

    A good idea doesn't always have a market.
  • Yeeeaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We are in for some fun times ahead, and no doubt Stevie is on a lot of pain medication. Frankly, I trust Google a lot more than I ever did MS, plus they are probably as innovative as Apple, while poor old MS plods along changing old things instead of coming up with new ideas.