Feeds

Google backs 'Chromoting' remote access for web-bound OS

'Yes, unlike Android, Chrome OS is open source'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has confirmed that it will offer remote access software with Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system now due for official release in the middle of next year.

Code for this service – currently dubbed "Chromoting" – is already part of the company's open source Chromium OS project, and speaking with The Reg on Tuesday at the company's Chrome press event in San Francisco, Google director of product management Caesar Sengupta indicated that the service will be rolled into the official OS at some point after launch.

With Chromoting, Chrome OS users will have the option of remotely accessing other desktop and laptop PCs. It's similar to existing services such as LogMeIn and GoToMyPC. "People have multiple computers," Sengupta told us. "So you're sitting on your couch and you want to play some music that's on a different computer, so chromoting will help you do that.

"You might use your Chrome OS netbook all-the-time, but you might still want to access other machines with other OSes. The way we handle [development] is we use the OS and we see the problems people will face, and we try to develop stuff around it."

This summer, in a message posted by a third party to a public mailing list dedicated to Chrome OS, Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík discussed the service in brief. "With this functionality (unofficially named 'chromoting'), Chrome OS will not only be [a] great platform for running modern web apps, but will also enable you to access legacy PC applications right within the browser," he said.

He also said it was "something like" Remote Desktop Connection, the Microsoft Windows service that gives you real-time access to distant PCs. And Sengupta acknowledged that the service will work something like GoToMyPC.

Asked if chromoting would be available with Chrome OS at launch, Sengupta said he was "unsure of timelines," but pointed put that Google will be constantly updating the OS, streaming to code to users over the web. "Remember that every few weeks, you'll get a new version," he said. "As and when a new feature is ready, you'll get it."

Asked if the Chromium OS project represented Google's main code tree for Chrome OS – if any coding was done behind closed doors – Sengupta said that Chrome OS is "completely open source." In other words, it's not Android. "Engineers check code into an external repository," he said. "Sometimes Sundar [Pichai, another vice president of product management] or I find out that some code has been checked in by reading something some blogger who's tracking our changes.

But he did acknowledge that some code is held back, including the firmware work Google has done to improve boot times and some code that belongs to partners. "If there's a partner IP we're using that we don't have the right to, we can't expose it," he said.

Could they open source the firmware work? "I don't know," he said. "It's speculation."

Chromoting is separate from Google efforts to offer remote access to applications through Citrix Director. Bundled with Chrome OS, Citrix Receiver will offer businesses access to apps running in the data centers. Chromoting will offer access to apps running on other PCs. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.