Yes, after months weaiting for the big news to be released, Google have finally announced that the deskop / laptop / netbook operating system will be called Chrome OS, and it will be available soon.
Really we all new as soon as Google released Android that a pc operating system must have been in the pipeline. We suggested that they would called it GUnix, basing the OS on Unix, but they have chosen the build the Chrome brand.
“Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.” Google official blog.
Although full details of when it will be released or what it will be capable of doing have not been announced yet, it will certainly rival Windows 7, Apple’s OSX and the various Linux distributions. Google is embracing open source, so we expect it to be completely free to use.
It will be interesting to see what programs will run on it, although hopefully virtual boxes to allow installation of Windows will be standard for those occasions when we need it. Our prediction is that Chrome OS will allow the seamless integration of Google online applications, desktop environment and its mobile Android. Many people would like to see photos and videos on their Android mobiles to be synced with Google apps (in the same way that mail is) and also provide easier ways to backup Google apps data to a local pc, running Chrome.
Maybe Chrome OS will also see a desktop YouTube to allow video playback, or a whole new media center that can integrate with your home cinema. Some Google apps already offer offline functions, so maybe this was intended as a test before full desktop versions are lunched under Chrome. It is likely that Google’s software will continue to run as normal.
What would be a change for the good for many Bloggers would be a desktop version of Google’s blogging software with speedier FTP. The current system only works for small self hosted blogs. We know that Google has made some investments in Drupal, with sponsorship for Drupal development as part of its summer of code. This could indicate a move away from the pure Google cloud web solutions and provide more server software. Or, maybe Google account holders will be able to host Drupal like websites in the Google cloud, which could remove the need for expensive web hosting for many people that want more functionality than Blogger or WordPress offer without the hassle of arranging their own domains and hosting.
There was also the recent news that the NHS is considering, under a Tory government, to use Google Health for its database. Maybe this is a sign that Google plans to move towards more high-brow professional partnerships.
What else could Chrome OS offer? Maybe GAMP? For those unfamiliar with web hosting, this would be Google, Apache MySQL and PHP. These are now standard server tools that run most websites today. If Google wishes to grow at its current rate, it needs to look at ways to outsource server space. With an increasingly quicker internet, home pc’s could be used to serve direct to the internet.
To start with though, and this is still just netbooks in 2010, Chrome OS will focus on speed, reliability and security. I am certainly looking forward to a Chrome netbook, if only to make writting these blogs easier! Currently in Caffe Nero writing on my Android G1. Looking forward to an upgrade. Hopefully Chrome Netbooks will be available from T-mobile with supercharged 3G (4G?).