Google to launch Chrome operating system this fall

June 2nd, 2010 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »
Speaking at CompuTex Taipei, Asia’s biggest IT trade show, Google VP of product management Sundar Pichai said Google is planning to release its Chrome operating system this fall. The OS will be free and is set to take on Microsoft Windows.

Pinchai said the Chrome OS will launch in “late fall.” No specific date was given. “We are working on bringing the device later this fall. It’s something which we are very excited by…We expect it to reach millions of users on day one,” Pinchai said at the trade show.

Google’s Chrome operating system is rumoured to be a stripped-down version of an OS, designed to run fast and run applications “in the cloud” — online applications rather than store-bought boxed software. The open-source operating system will be free.

The Chrome OS is widely expected to be similar to Google’s web browser of the same name. According to Google, 70 million people use the Chrome browser today.

As Reuters reports, Microsoft attempted to downplay Google’s announcement by saying software developers would have to write multiple different versions of applications for different brands.

Google, disputed that notion and Pichai said: “Chrome OS is one of the few future operating systems for which there are already millions of applications that work. You don’t need to redesign Gmail for it to work on Chrome. Facebook does not need to write a new app for Chrome.”

Google also indicated it will be selective with how it comes to market because the company wants to deliver a specific user experience. Google will begin by limiting Chrome to laptops rather than desktop PCs.

The fact Chrome will be open source software means other companies will be able to develop their own versions of the software using a shell provided by Google. Google has employed a similar tactic in the mobile space with its Android operating system, allowing cellphone manufacturers to customize Android to fit their needs.

As AFP reports, “The jury is still out on Google’s ability to challenge Microsoft, analysts said, pointing out that it remains to be seen if hardware manufacturers will launch Chrome-based products.”
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