On the 7th of July, technology giants Google announced that they will release their own Operating System late 2010. It seems like it was nothing more than the worst kept secret of recent times, as there is very little known about it, and nothing will become clear until we near its release in a year’s time.
Having said that, there has been a bit of talk, and this article by Jason Hiner of TechRepublic gives an excellent explanation of what we know about the new OS, and its importance to us (or lack of).
In summary, Google will release an Operating System, like Windows and Mac OS, that is based on the Linux kernal. There are currently hundreds of different Linux distributions available, all free and open-source. Normally, each distro offers something different, or is geared towards a certain audience. In the case of Chrome OS, Google aims to create a very light and fast OS that is targeting netbooks, and is based on the fact that its users do almost everything on the Internet. This means that people will use remote servers to store their data (therefore no need for back-up), and web applications for their daily tasks (meaning less need for any applications to be installed on the local machine).
At the moment it is way too early to tell how successful this project is going to be. But one thing is for sure, and it’s that the consumers can always use more competition, and a new OS (it could be argued that it’s no more than a new distro, but it is still marketed as a new OS) would encourage Microsoft and Apple to constantly improve. Moreover, it could be a point of enthusiasm for Linux-supporters, as it is potentially the entrance to the Linux globe for regular users world-wide.