Google Chrome OS detailed

Google has announced details of its new operating system, Google Chrome OS on Wednesday outlining what the new OS will offer.

Focusing on speed, simplicity and security, Google aims to appeal to those looking for a lightweight operating system by being fast and clean, rather than checking for things that slow the system down for users keen to work on the Web.

"If you take the number of interesting applications you've used over the last 5 years it will have been web based", said Sundar Pichai, vice president of Product Management at Google before outlining the new features.

With no conventional applications saved on the device you are using, the new OS is a dramatic shift away from the way Apple's Snow Leopard and Microsoft's Windows 7 operating systems work currently. Data will be saved and stored in the "Cloud" rather than locally.

"You will not have to install anything. Every application will be a link to a web application", said Pichai.

The move means that google will be able to not only control what software is available for the system, but insure that it will be incredibly secure.

"If I loose my Chrome OS machine I should be able to log in and get it all back", says Pichai.

It also means that any application that works for the Web, will work on the browser:

"Anyone who writes an app for the web, writes an app for the Chrome OS... it's a browser with a few modifications".

Those web apps, which will range from Google docs, to music services, to flash based games, ebook readers and of course twitter will automatically be checked against a central server to ensure the system is kept secure. It also means Google will be able to roll out daily updates to any application without the user having to do anything as nothing is stored locally.

The lack of applications means that the system will be able to be considerably faster in its performance. In a demo of the new OS at the company's HQ, Pichai showed a laptop running Chrome OS took just 7 seconds to boot with a further 3 seconds to get through login process.

As for the look and feel of the new OS, the device will look very similar to the current Chrome browser available for PC. Users will have a number of favourite tabs that will allow them to access their favourite apps. Additionally there will be a panel, similar to the company's Android platform.

Further to the tabs system, there will be a persistent panel that appears in the bottom right hand corner that allows users to run further applications like chat or music services.

"Almost everyone knows how to use a browser", said Pichai on the user interface. "Lots of the UI will change - it won't be exactly the same as you see today, however the core concept is there".

However, Google isn't expecting the new operating system to be for everyone. Users who have to edit documents or pictures will struggle as you won't be able to save data locally. 

"We are expecting this to be a secondary computer".

Google is expected to launch the operating system at the end of 2010 with device announcements coming mid 2010. 

 



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