Google uncloaks Chrome OS hardware pals
Google has revealed at least some of the hardware manufacturers it's working with to design and build devices that run the much-discussed Google Chrome Operating System.
With a post to the official Chrome blog Wednesday afternoon, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory said its hardware partners include Acer, Asus, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba.
Google has said that the Chrome OS will initially run on netbooks. Acer and Asus were among the netbook trend setters, before HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba followed suit with their own models. Toshiba announced its first US netbook just last month.
No, the list did not include Dell, the world's second leading PC maker behind HP. But Google did add a well-known software outfit to the list: Adobe.
Google vp of product management Sundar Pichai and engineering director Linus Upson also made a point of saying that the Google Chrome Operating System - a Chrome browser paired with a Linux kernel and some hardware drivers - will be free. As if you needed to be told.
They did not mention all those ads the platform will carry.
In a departure from Google's initial Android project, the company says it will open source the Google Chrome Operating System later this year, well before hardware systems ship. According to Google, consumers won't have access to devices until the second half of 2010. ®
I'm interested in the drivers
If this is a success then the general public won't really associate it with Linux. For example, most users of Android phones don't care or realise that the underlying code is Linux. But what I think this will do is encourage hardware manufacturers to release drivers for Chrome OS / Linux. For example, we could start to see more printer drivers released, and so on.
Were you to have tried Ubuntu you would have not experienced any of the problems you mentioned.
Asus screwed the pooch by offering a poorly customised version of what is an already dodgy commerical distro that virtually nobody in the Linux community uses it's true.
But just because Asus/Xandros is crap doesn't mean all other Linux distros are equally flaky.
Personally, I have several friends and relatives who choose to use Ubuntu. Basically whenever they come to me with their malware infested XP PC's, I setup dual boot Ubuntu and tell them they can use whichever one they prefer. They aren't "text file hackers" for them they just want something that works, and doesn't run like a three legged mule due to all the malware and/or malware protection they are constantly fighting against.
might well be the netbook OS of choice
A browser-based OS might offer the ease and familiarity of use netbook owners have been begging for, without the Windows millstone. Other kiosk-style consoles, such as EPOS, SCADA, industrial and medical applications, as well as consumer electronics, would also benefit from a browser-based UI framework, as it seems to me that that's all you're really getting, albeit the promise of a very polished one.
I'm not sure how much it would take market share away from Linux or Windows in the desktop, office, gamer or enthusiast's space, as it's not really adding much that these OSes already provide. And the margins in these spaces are a lot smaller, too. Enterprise might benefit from Google's datacenter expertise, but I'm not sure Chrome is pitched at this market.
The more competition the better, I say. Apple's iPhone has kickstarted innovation in the mobile space and made it better for everyone. And Apple had to make money out of its platform, Google doesn't have quite the same concerns :)
(would someone please stop me commenting? it's been four comments in two days now)