What Google Chrome OS Is and Isn’t

14 07 2009

OK, first off, Google Chrome will not be a replacement for Windows, MacOS or any of the major Linux variants.

It will be one thing and one thing only, a beautifully quick and simple Web Browsing Platform. It will load in seconds and present you with the Chrome Browser, allowing you to access the web and all the Web Services that are out there in no time at all. Being installed on your own hardware means that you have the added bonus of local storage, allowing you to work offline when you have no internet access.

Google Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS

It will no doubt feature a version of Google Gears, so you will be able to run Gmail, Picasa, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheet and maybe even some variant of Google Maps offline. It will work in the same way that Chrome does, separating all running programs from the underlying Kernel, ensuring that viruses and malware simply can’t infect the base system. It will allow you to install Google Gadget-type applications only, it wont allow you to run many other apps, since that is not what it is designed for (unless those apps are modified to work as a Desktop Gadget) – we will no doubt see a massive fight to develop a Google Desktop Gadget Wrapper allowing you to run Windows, MacOS and Linux apps (these things will be like a Gadget version of Wine on Linux).

It will ofcourse intergrate with Google Search, allowing you to easily visualise all your locally stored content, to find anything quickly (as such you might not even need a file system as we know it with a folder heirachy, since every item will be pre-tagged and easily accessbile via a nice simple tag/timeline/type UI. It will also intergrate with on-line storage, allowing you to remotely store your settings and apps, so you can log into your Chrome OS account from any H/W that has Chrome OS installed on it. On-line storage of all your local content will be available in a professional version for a monthly fee, allowing you to access your locally stored content from any Chrome OS.

A lot of people will be disappointed that they can’t load the apps they are use to and they can’t get certain peripherals to work initially. But then these people are missing the point of Chrome OS. It is an alternative to Windows and the others, for those that live their life on-line, need quick access to Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and more and don’t use normal off-line applications.

Being Open Source, a million and one variants of the Chrome OS will begin in ernest, some trying to merge it with Ubuntu, others trying to add a Windows compatibility layer via Wine. Many of these will die within the first ten months, a few with some clever ideas will keep going.

Just expect there to be lots of moaning and whining from early adopters who don’t understand what it is all about, but expect Google to produce an amazingly stable, fast platform allowing you to browse the web and be very very impressed.




One response

21 11 2009
Google Chromium OS – I was right! | pruperting

[…] the first build of Chromium is released and as I predicted, it is simply a super-fast web-browsing platform, no more, no less. All those people who are […]

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