Google takes on Microsoft with Chrome OS

Natalie Apostolou
09 Jul 2009

Google has upped the ante on its tussle with Microsoft announcing that it will launch a new operating system based on Google Chrome, branded Google Chrome OS.

Google claims that the product is "our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be." The open-source operating system will initially target netbooks, and aims to leverage its 30 million-strong Chrome user base.

Announcing the move into OS-scape on its blog, Google\'s Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director wrote, "later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we\'re already talking to partners about the project, and we\'ll soon be working with the open source community."

The Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and Google confirmed that it is working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year.

These companies include Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, Pichai stated in a follow-up FAQ. He added that in typical Google style, Chrome OS will be free.

Key attributes of the new system are "speed, simplicity and security" and as in the case of developing the Google Chrome browser, "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."

Google added that the Chrome OS project was distinct from Android. "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," the blog said.

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