Tag Archives | Google Chrome OS

A Little More Chrome OS Knowledge

Google has published a FAQ on its Chrome OS project. It contains the minimum number of questions and answers necessary to qualify as a Frequently Asked Questions list–two. We now know that Chrome OS will be free (it would have been startling if it wasn’t). And we know that Google is working with Acer, Adobe, Asus, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Presumably Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo will make Chrome OS netbooks; Adobe will make stuff like Acrobat, AIR, and Flash happen; and Freescale, Qualcomm, and TI will collaborate with Google on chip support.

The big news here is the lineup of major computer manufacturers who are on board. That doesn’t guarantee anything–Google’s Android mobile OS has been embraced by multiple major phone companies, and it’s still getting off to a somewhat slow start–but it’s still impressive. And given that it’ll be a year at the soonest before any Chrome OS netbooks show up, it’s entirely possible that other manufacturers will hop on board before launch.


5Words for Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

5wordsSpecial all-Chrome OS edition!

Why Chrome OS will matter.

Chrome OS? We’ve got Ubuntu.

Will Chrome OS annoy Apple?

Chrome OS, potential privacy threat.

Does the world need it?

Will Microsoft respond on Monday?

The big winner: smartbooks. (Smartbooks?)

Not your father’s OS war.

Hey, Joe Trippi linked here.

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Whatever Became of GDrive?

No matter how cool Google’s Chrome OS turns out to be, chances are you’re not going to use it. The company says the OS will roll out on netbooks in the second half of 2010; even if said netbooks are major hits, the vast majority of us will go on using systems based on Windows, OS X, or Linux for a long time to come.

Which makes me wonder whatever happened to another Google big idea that could have a bigger impact much more quickly: GDrive. That’s the service that would give consumers a virtual hard drive on the Internet, letting them store all their stuff remotely. Google has never formally announced such a service, but rumors have persisted for years–here’s a Michael Arrington story from March, 2006–and clues that it’s in the works pop up every so often. It seems to be real, even though we don’t know when Google will release it–assuming it will someday.

There’s nothing inherently awe-inspiring about the idea of online storage: Services like i-Drive were around more than a decade ago, and Microsoft will give you 25GB of space in the form of a Windows Live SkyDrive right now. If GDrive is just another hunk of remote disk space, it would be no big whoop. But if Google gave you a lot of space and tightly integrated it with Gmail, Google Docs, and other Web apps, GDrive could look less like an old-fashioned online drive and more like an entirely Web-based OS that was reachable from any browser.

In pitching Chrome OS, Google says that people “want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files.” That would seem to suggest that Chrome OS incorporates GDrive, or something like it. Maybe GDrive hasn’t shown up yet in part because it’s closely related to the Chrome OS project.

Which leaves me wondering whether Google could release a service that was, essentially, Chrome OS’s user interface and Web-based components–but in a form that work in any browser.  It could bring part of Chrome OS’s godness to the 99% of us who won’t be buying a Chrome netbook, and it could be really cool…


Eleven Questions About Google’s Chrome OS

chromeosHere’s one of those breaking stories that’s stunning at first–until you think about it, whereupon it feels like it was always inevitable. Google announced tonight that it’s working on an operating system for PCs, turning a hypothetical scenario that’s been around for years into reality. Almost by definition, it’s the most direct attack possible on the Microsoft hegemony, since it puts Google into competition with Windows itself.

Google isn’t revealing much in the way of specifics, other than that the OS is an open-source project based on its Chrome browser with a Linux kernel, and that it’s working with multiple hardware manufacturers to bring it to x86- and ARM-based netbooks in the second half of next year. It says the goal is to build an OS that boots in seconds and runs Web apps really well.

Like many big Google announcements (such as the unleashing of Chrome itself last September) this one prompts more questions than it answers. Such as the first eleven that popped into my head…

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