While many of us thought Google's laptop and desktop OS would be an extension of Android, Google had been working on the ChromeOS. Announced today in a simple blogpost by Sundar Pichai, Google VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director, the new OS is also a Linux derivative and will also run on ARM and x86 processors.
From reading the post, here are my first impressions:
The ChromeOS is going to be an almost "instant-on" OS like Splashtop or Hyperspace. Google says you'll be browsing and emailing in a few seconds from turning the machine on. This also means there will be no "sleep mode" and the computers running ChromeOS will be using 0 power when not in use.
It will be "Cloud-based" meaning that all of your files will reside in the cloud. It isn't apparent yet if the ChromeOS will cache files locally. Google Will likely use some sort of Gears/HTML5 DB capabilities to keep local access to file system going as they now do in their browser.
While it will run on desktops, it is geared toward Netbooks and Google expects ChromeOS Netbooks to arrive by the end of the year.
The ARM vs. Intel battle will unfold on Google hardware as it seems this is the first place each will be otherwise equal in Software. Competition is going to be great for the consumer both in driving down prices as well as squeezing out performance.
On the software development side, they are taking the "Palm Pre model". Applications are going to be developed using CSS and HTML 5 specifications and will be portable to other platforms (Windows,Mac, Linux through the Chrome Browser - which is no longer a browser but more a platform - like Adobe Air.
The OS Wars are no officially back on, with the Google Chrome OS looking like a worthy contender to do battle with Mac and Windows.
Google Chrome OS