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back to article Google polishes Chrome into netbook OS

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 …

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Linux

Chrome O/S

based on Linux no doubt ;-)

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Boffin

Emulation

No OS will ever topple windows until there is bullet-proof, per application, built-in emulation for windows applications. VM's or dual boot are inconvenient. I think 75% of windows users have something in their "Program Files" that they just can't live with out or get in another way. Yes 90% of your time is spent on the web but it's the other 10% using thick apps that can't be replaced. MS was in the right place at the right era and there is so much lock-in that it will take a serious evolution before that changes.

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xp - not that bad

Xp on my samsung NC 10 isnt that bad, well that right untill you add the AV, anti adware, java, windows updates, etc, etc.

its taking a full minute longer to get to the internet than when it was a clean install.

Thats MS' challange - fix all the "run at sartup" application issues.

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Silver badge

More information needed

Is it Linux based, or some other OS? Or is it a completely new OS from the ground up?

Good idea though.

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Linux

based on Google's Chrome browser

Is it, or is it based on Linux? Read the chromeOS blog a bit more carefully

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New GUI, old OS

"The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel."

So, not that new after all.

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WTF?

<Title>

"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."

What, no love for x64 chips, a la 64bit processing?

Also, does anyone else think that an OS and a browser coming from the same developer with the same name will cause confusion to average plebs?

In all honesty, I really hope this goes well for them, as another competitor (at least, another big competitor) is always a good thing.

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An OS and Web Browser as one?

I am outraged that Google are forcing me to use their browser!

I hope I can replace Chrome with Firefox!

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Bronze badge
Linux

Sounds good

This sounds like a step in the right direction; Google obviously have their own commercial agenda, but this needn't be incompatible with the rest of the open source movement. After all, Linux always needs development funding and Google has deep pockets to help with that.

From a commercial point of view, the Google brand is a good one to sell to OEMs and consumers, if it's slick and delivers the netbook experience that people want then there's no reason it couldn't get a good slice of the market.

Windows XP on netbooks is less than ideal (especially on limited SSD space) and IMO it's success there has more to do with Microsoft's OEM marketing and users familiarity with the Windows XP brand than any real advantage.

I have an Asus eee 901, bought with XP installed as it was on offer (thanks eBuyer), but I find myself using Presto more often these days.

There will never be a one-size-fits-all operating system, so if Google's marketing power can move the Linux case forward this can only be a good thing.

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WTF?

It's a shell....

Quoted as "running on a Linux core".

So this differs only from things like Linpus Lite on the Aspire One in that it only runs a browser. And while a lot of things can be run in browsers, it's still a little limiting....

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Linux

Google creates OS for Crunchpad

So Google are finally releasing their own Linux distro. Though none of the media reports I've seen so far have mentioned that this "new OS" is, in fact, Linux.

From the official Google blog: "Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel"

It sounds like a perfect match for the Crunchpad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Emulation

But my Android G1 does a lot of what a lot of people use their computers for. I can read and write emails and surf the web, and with its integration with your google account then there's no need to worry about loosing your contacts as it just synchronises. I can use IM and IRC on it too.

So why does a netbook need to do any more than that. That was the whole idea of netbooks, they were designed for accessing services on the net, they were never designed to be full blown PCs.

If you want to use Word or Visual Studio then go get a beefy PC. If you want to sit outside a cafe checking your email and chatting to a few friends then why do you need windows?

Google know that a lot of people don't need windows but the linux market is fragmented and its still got the "oh you can't do anything on linux without a command line" image, an image pushed by Microsoft and it's large army of paid shills.

If Google can make something like Android for netbooks and they can get it out onto the market, and if they've any sense they'll make it a free download too, then they can probably make it work.

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Big Brother

Will it have Bing or Yahoo!?

As I assume the EU have to prevent any near monopoly seeking to unfairly extend its

predations, the inclusion of Google search has to be disallowed in European versions.

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Anonymous Coward

Based on a Browser?

An OS based on a Web Browser? Ew. Have they forgotten that an OS is about far, far more than just 'using a computer' - device drivers, file systems all have to be dealt with... by a web browser?

Count me out.

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FAIL

Hardware compatibility

"Even more importantly, they don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware"

How on Earth are they going to address people's hardware configuration woes when every other alternative OS offers less compatibility than Windows ? "Every new piece of hardware" already works with Windows and seldom takes "hours of configuration".

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Linux

What would you use?

According to FT the kernel will be Linux. The way it's written hints it won't use GNU but why wouldn't they. They have said they will release source so likely to be free software.

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If it's based on a web browser...

...will it run all the things apache does? Can i write an application in PHP and run it without hosting it on an apache server or something? or am i getting completely the wrong end of the stick?

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Big Brother

Will the spirit of ET be present?

I wonder how much bandwidth the OS will eat up with it constantly phoning home to Google sending them all your usage data?

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Terminator

@ AC-Emulation

To a large degree I agree with you. However, MS Office on the Mac is regarded by many as superior to its Windows counterpart. And Office is possibly the most 'business-related' bit of software a majority of home users actually use (normally to pen complaint letters to the Daily Mail, I suspect).

However, don't forget that PC users are becoming more and more tech-savvy. Before long the PC-using populous will be at the point where they'll be more confident to choose which OS they use. Despite Linux (et al) flavours being far less popular, they're still, themselves, gaining in popularity. Factor in Windows' clunkiness and users' disillusionment and other OS's start to look like contenders.

Time will tell, I suppose.....

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Anonymous Coward

topple MS my arse

just like Chrome has knocked i.e. from the top browser spot.

I for one don't want all my stuff controlled and indexed by an advertising agency. I also happen to like thing to have plenty of features available without contacting my Google overlord.

As you can see, they are aiming for the highend - netbooks, you know thing that peope tend to only use for web browsing and basic stuff...

Call me in 20 years when they actually haveing something to get excited about..

Yawn.....

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FAIL

start again?

maybe it's one for the squint-eyed mini-platform crowd.

..... games?

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Big Brother

Strong-armed out

I tried to purchase a Linux netbook some months ago here - ALL the shops, without exception only had netbooks with XP on them. When asking the shopkeepers why you get no sensible comments, apart from 'they come delivered like that'. Another monopolistic strong-arm tactic no doubt.

Did I buy one? NO. First give money to Microsoft and then put the time in myself wiping their shite off it and installing everything myself? Why should I?

I'm still a potential customer for a Linux netbook. Anyone?

(and no, I don't want to order one online from some other country)

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Pick your metaphor

Which do you think? Land war in asia or winter campaign against Russia?

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They'll still have the problem of...

"It doesn't work like Windows!"

I hope it does well, but I suspect they'll hit the same wall Linux has.

Plus they'll try to do everything via JavaScript in a browser, which is just rubbish - the dumb terminal thin client model is deader than Michael Jackson, and the sooner the web 2.0 acolytes figure that one out, the sooner we'll see genuine desktop competition for M$.

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Silver badge

Quit Pussyfooting around ....... the Register.

John,

Google will need to be doing a heck of a lot more than that, to be Leading in Anything Remotely Relative to the Future ... and maybe they are, for all that we know and/or believe, for one just never knows who is Feeding them CodeXXXX for XSS Needs and/or what their Search Engine Algorithms Phorm in ITs Fab Labs . :-) ........ http://tinyurl.com/mug29z

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Anonymous Coward

Apps

The success of Apple's AppStore could also be related to the fact it's attracted a lot of, dare I say, proper developers, rather than the JavaScript/HTML & Flash crowd - I know there are some really talented people working in those areas, but it's evident that generally speaking they've come from a background in real programming.

(To make another comparison, it's the difference between native and widget developers on OS X)

As for whether people can live without Windows - any Mac or Linux user will assure you than you can - and I can easily see Citrix as a solution for legacy support.

But that's not the intention here - this OS isn't aimed at the workplace, with it's ties into dated software, but at people who want a portable internet terminal.

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Bronze badge
Linux

Why?? eeebuntu?

Had a bit of trouble getting my mate's Huawei 169 3G modem working on acer aspire one's Linpus. Took 5 minutes. Strenuous.

Now, stick ChromeOS on my machine, and I bet root-Fuc*k-All of the hardware will go. Skype with video? Printers? 3G Modem?. Nah

Yow! Just got hit by a flying pig!

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Chrome for Linux

Does this mean Google will finally release a version of Chrome for linux?

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Joke

Re: Will it have Bing or Yahoo!?

Competition laws on free software?

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FAIL

@Emulation

Quite right, and considering that a lot of desktop virtualisation packages are resource eaters you have to query what the performance of a virtualised solution'd be anyway - especially in light of the mixed support or lack thereof for virtualisation in current netbook processors (I'm looking at YOU, Intel...). Look at http://ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyID=29035. Unless there's a confluence of better hardware support and seamless software support for that sort of virtualisation, I can see ANY form of Linux having problems making headway against XP. That's the thing; SCCs/netbooks/nettops are just powerful enough to run Windows acceptably quickly - never mind that it's only XP, it'll still do what people want in a familiar environment. Google can make headway in phones more easily, since there's a greatly limited functionality set by comparison, and people are used to getting a new (for example) Sony Ericsson where the Address Book or whatever looks different than the Nokia they had. The Netbook/top has developed into a machine which they don't just use for accessing the web/cloud/amorphous gob of data; it's powerful enough to do a lot more locally, to run stuff like Office or whatever, and people expect to be able to do that in a familiar setting.

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Thumb Up

@ wabbit02

Enable S3 sleep in XP and it should be fine.

http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1469199

or install the Windows 7 RC it's free for a year, it runs better than XP and i've got all the apps you listed running. you can also buy it soon for £50 which is actually a fair price for an OS if you ask me.

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Linux

Define OS?

Seeing as it's based on the linux kernel is this an OS in the same sense that KDE, Gnome and Ratpoison are?

As long as I can get bash on it I guess I'm happy :)

P.S. I was just about to flame a BBC website journalist for writing in an article this morning that Google Chrome OS was a threat to Linux on netbooks but I see they've since removed that bit :)

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Happy

Marketing only...

If its a Linux core then Linux is actually the OS. However, to the unwashed masses chrome will be the OS because only this will actually launch any applications - Google Docs, Google Mail, Google everything! And everything will run over the web (with cached local versions). Its what Microsoft wanted to do but never achieved!

I dont see a problem with this. May even be a good thing in general, especially for the OSS movement.... probably bad for Microsoft though.

And if Google get too big for their boots and try and EEE (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) Linux, then there is always Haiku ;-)

Does this herald Web 3.0?

PS: I used Web 3.0 first so i claim dibs. Anyone else wants to use this please send me £5 per usage and kiss my patented ass.

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Anonymous Coward

Emulation is a trojan horse

I think Emulation is a trojan horse. If I have a legacy program I need to run, then I also have a legacy PC to run it on. Because I was running it before.

If it is a developing program, that is being moved forward, then it will make the leap to cross platform sooner or later.

iPod is the current development platform of choice, but Android may make an impact. I think Google Chrome will just cloud the issue. Shooting themselves in the foot.

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jsp

@Darren B 1

> I hope I can replace Chrome with Firefox!

Or IE :-)

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Haven't we already got an OS that runs on ARM chips?

It's called RISC OS. Why re-invent the wheel? All it needs is a decent browser.

PS please can we have a cogwheel icon for RISC OS.

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Coincidence?

Is it pure coincidence that Google have someone called Linus working on their new OS? Or is it some genetic trait?

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I imagine...

This will be a little like gOS (http://www.thinkgos.com/). When you click the "Office" icon you'll get taken to google apps via Chrome. Probably with a basic file-manager to let you manage things from SD/CF cards & USB sticks to "the cloud" (porting Picassa seems a likely bet), maybe some basic printer configuration too.

I'd be fairly happy with it on a netbook - especially if they get back to the cheap "chuck it in your bag and go" feel they hard to start with before the price started to creep up.

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Joke

Good name

The name's fine, no problem at all. Lusers will know the difference...

Tech Support:: “What operating system are you running?”

Customer: “Pentium.”

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Gates Halo

wow. everything written in javascript?

thats gonna suck.

if it allows native code then this "web os" crap is just marketing spiel, its no different to any other os except you put explorer running in a web browser.

i imagine you wouldn't be able to run scriptblock/adblock either... argh

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Great stuff

Sounds like a fantastic idea. Hopefully it won't just be a 'browser' though. Imagine just being able to use "Web 2.0" apps? It would kill you.

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Silver badge

@Loki 1

Didn't the EU already pronounce that they want to be at the forefront of Web 3.0?

If Chrome OS means that manufacturers can legitimately build ARM devices with tiny SSDs then they should, in theory, have a major price advantage and be supplying hardware that desktop Windows isn't at all compatible with. I guess a major target audience is mobile networks?

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Linux

Interesting

I actually can't wait to test this out on some of the low powered P3 machines and other obsolete hardware I have kicking around.

Could it be a good way to turn last centuries PCs into reasonably nimble web machines?

Of course, this would only be to satisfy my own geeky curiosity rather than through any kind of necessity. If I actually wanted low powered web machines I'd buy ones based off the atom chip. As it turns out, I don’t.

So will it succeed? On netbooks, quite possibly. On desktop PCs? No. Despite their grandiose claims.

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Nothing new

So, basically it's just Linux with a bundled copy of Chrome, and no doubt a few of the Google apps with Gears installed so they can work locally (Google are idiots if they believe people are constantly online). I see precious little evidence of mentions of offline, though..

Might have some success - basically the same as a customised version of Linux on a netbook. Desktops? Probably not.

Also allow me to laugh at the statement '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'

ahahahahahahahahahaha. Unless they mean 'we will automatically patch your system'. Better hope that the hardware configurations don't become too wide, or that the update is customised to each device, otherwise sooner or later one of the ChromeOS devices will fail.

Couldn't they have used BSD Unix? It's genuinely free, rather than 'free as long as you share your source if you link to me'.

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Anonymous Coward

Goobuntu

"As any fule know" Google already use an Ubuntu-based distribution on their desktops internally - methinks this will have a linux kernel, the guts of Ubuntu, and a shiny new "Chrome" window manager on top. Given that Ubuntu already supports just about any piece of hardware or peripheral known to man I don't see that as a problem. Where I do see a problem is them as a company suddenly having to support millions of customers who can hardly work out for themselves how to turn their computer on...

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Linux

@toastan butter

"How on Earth are they going to address people's hardware configuration woes when every other alternative OS offers less compatibility than Windows ? 'Every new piece of hardware' already works with Windows and seldom takes 'hours of configuration' "

Not true.

Every single camera or mp3 player I have bought in the last 5 years has worked fine on linux and failed to work on windows XP.

Yeah, printing is still an issue on linux, but generally linux has better hardware support out of the box than windows. And if something doesn't work with linux, at least you have the chance to fix it.

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OK, Stallman.

We know it's GNU/Linux.

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Linux

@AC 09:22

"topple MS my arse [...] I for one don't want all my stuff controlled and indexed by an advertising agency."

You seem quite happy for it to be controlled by a marketing agency though.

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Anonymous Coward

@samo

"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."

"What, no love for x64 chips, a la 64bit processing?"

Sigh..........

does that make x86 86bit processors?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86

I doubt you need Itaniums (IA64) to surf the web....

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No Evil

Is it me, or is Google's Chrome logo looking more and more similar to that of HAL 9000?

Question is, when will it turn red?

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