Operating System : Google unveils Chrome OS
Google has conducted the first presentation of their future operating system centred on the Web. They are looking to put the OS online with the name Chromium OS, with the end result being in the open source format.
In the summer, Google created a lot of excitement by announcing their free Operating system project aimed at netbook style portable computers. With the planned release date for users being a year later, Google has now unveiled Chrome OS so that development can commence, with the deployment following the same path as the Google Chrome web browser.
In the same way as the browser, Chrome OS is an open source project which developers are being invited to participate in. Chromium OS is Chrome OS, while Google Chromium is Google Chrome. The operating system code is also available to anyone, with contributions being welcome.
The similarities with the browser don’t end here, as Chrome OS is intimately linked to Google Chrome, with the operating system being thought out before all else with aspects, addressed at users who spend a lot of time on the Internet. This has been done to such a point that without an internet connection, it’s almost like the operating system becomes useless, which may leave people hesitant using it, as Google has stated that nothing will be stored on the computer.
This isn’t really a surprise, as all applications on offer are Web based. This is a field where Google certainly has some big weapons available with Gmail, Google Documents, Picasa and others. For Google, this strong web orientation provides the user with the advantage of not having to install, manage and update programs. What now needs to be seen is whether the Web applications are at the same level as certain desktop installations.
In terms of information security, Google insists on the fact that each application is executed inside a sandbox, which provides the computer with better protection against viruses and malware. Each time the machine starts, the operating system verifies its codes integrity. In the event that this has been compromised, the OS will automatically restart. Google nevertheless concedes that no computer can be completely secure.
With Chrome OS, Google wants the user to access the Net as quickly as possible. "All useless processes are deleted, all operations are optimised and whenever possible everything is executed in parallel". For Chrome OS, the start up is done in the following order: initialisation of the CPU and memory, loading of the kernel, initialisation of the hardware, user connection and access to the browser. There is also no video initialization, splash screen, charge, or even the start up of applications or an antivirus after login.
According to the blog Engadget, Chrome OS is addressed at specific hardware and only SSD disks, with the OS supporting the x86 and ARM architectures. For Google, a lot of work is still to be done, with the idea being to benefit from similar GNU projects like Moblin, Ubuntu, WebKit and others, through the use of the Linux kernel.
Should all of this be scaring Microsoft and their Windows? Probably not, as on netbooks there is quite a large choice of different Linux distributions already available. Maybe Google will be able to set themselves apart?
The Chromium OS project
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