Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.
It’s not as new as all that, of course:
The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.
says Google’s Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management. According to the release, it intends that developers will write web applications that will run in any “standards-based” browser – though I’m guessing Google will continue to use its Gears extensions which are not part of any W3C standard.
One of the interesting questions is whether Google Chrome OS will stick with these limited goals, or whether it might end up running local applications such as, say, OpenOffice, or a media and DVD player, or games. What about Adobe AIR, will it run on Chrome OS and provide offline capability? My guess, almost certainly yes.
Linux is an excellent choice for a netbook, and it’s been sad to see Windows almost take over there. The reasons seem to be lack of customer acceptance combined with sloppy releases from some OEMs more familiar with Windows. Google won’t be sloppy; but it faces many of the same challenges in winning users. Expect modest initial success, with more interesting implications for the long-term.
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year.