Google polishes Chrome into netbook OS
The sound of Ballmer hurling a thousand chairs
Google is releasing an operating system for laptops and desktops, in a direct challenge to Microsoft's money-making core business.
The company will also encourage developers to get on board by allowing them to use ordinary web development tools with the OS rather than a specialised development kit. Much of the success of the iPhone has been thanks to the thousands of developers keen to create applications for it.
The operating system is based on Google's Chrome browser and will first appear on netbooks in the second half of 2010. Google said it s already talking to netbook manufacturers and will open-source the software later this year.
Google Chrome OS, as it is currently known, promises to be quick to boot up and secure. It will run on x86 and ARM chips.
On the Google blog, Sundar Pichai, VP product management and Linus Upson, engineering director, emphasise that Chrome OS is different from Android - the search giant's OS for mobile phones:
"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.
Google will also benefit from tying in a lot of users from the point at which they purchase a machine, not just from when they start using its web applications.
Netbooks, Google's initial target market, have been less successful for Linux than many open source advocates had originally hoped. A cut-down version of Microsoft's Windows XP is currently the dominant operating system for this PC form factor.
Many companies have tried to muscle in on Microsoft's home turf of desktop and laptop operating systems, ever since the company first sewed the market up. And none have succeeded. But then none have had the muscle or money of Google nor have they had its central position in web services to use as a foot in the door. And Google has shown, with Android and the handset manufacturers, that it can establish strong beachheads, where others have failed.
Just as interesting will be the response of Microsoft, once Steve Ballmer has calmed down. The firm's recent problems with Vista and the fact that Windows 7 is all but out the door may limit its ability to react quickly to this new challenge. ®
@Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 9th July 2009 11:25 GMT
I just went to the Dell website for Belgium. I have 3 choices my friend: windows XP Home in French, Dutch or English. No Ubuntu.
No, you plonker, I do not want a netbook 'manufactured' in Belgium - I want to BUY it in Belgium. I don't want to order it abroad, pay immediately, wait six weeks and then get it delivered broken.
Thanks for the tip. Indeed, apart from that small detail of where I live, perfect suggestion ;-))
"So if by some miracle Apple or Google became dominant then it's perfectly okay they have a bundled browser because they weren't dominant at the time ;)"
Of course it is OK. Until they abuse their dominant market position they are not doing anything wrong. Notice the word 'abuse'. Look it up, remember it. It is not because Microsoft have a near monopoly that are penalised, it is because they have been convicted of abuse of that position.
You are attempting to use a your own flawed hypothesis to prove yourself right.
"FFS how many times do you people need to have this explained? The EU's beef with MS and bundling IE with Windows is that they are using their dominant position in the OS market to artificially enhance their postion in the browser market.* Apple and Google do not have a dominant position in the OS market to abuse in the first place.
It's very, very simple to understand therefore I can only assume you are deliberately misundersanding the situation in order to support your prejudice."
So if by some miracle Apple or Google became dominant then it's perfectly okay they have a bundled browser because they weren't dominant at the time ;)
p.s. no prejudice. Win, OSX, any flavour of *nix, all have their place in my home if they do the job. It's just the hypocrisy of those who sought to hit MS that I find laughable, especially as it really was just a jealousy thing. And besides, what does a maker of a free open source browser have to lose financially by IE being shipped with Windows? The "Browser Market" is nothing more than an ego trip here.
Reality is, MS had a shit load of cash, and sufficient lawyers in US and EU worked out they could get their hands on it.
the sound of one hand clapping
True enough that this is a threat to Apple as well as M$. Who wins? *We* do, as competition will only improve the offerings and drive down prices. There is a limit to the number of market players for applications ecosystems like MacOS/iPhone/iTunes or Windows/Win Mobile of maybe 3 or 4 major players. With Goog's customer base, they can certainly be one of them. Can't wait to see the fireworks..
If a chair is thrown in the jungle and no one gives a shit, does it really matter?
Apart from gaming - everything I need this has! Can even run Office 2003/07 via wine and other apps I need.
And have VMWare should I ever need crappy windows.
Linux is more for a power user/developer certainly not for the average user - thats until all the software makers make apps for Linux aswell.