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Will Google's new Chrome OS end up turning into rust?

July 13, 2009

by Mark Ollig

Gosh do we really need another Operating System?

Next year at this time, expect to be hearing more about Google’s “Chrome OS,” which is the name Google has given to their new Operating System (OS).

It seems to me the folks at Microsoft have had a lock on personal computer operating systems since it’s a Microsoft OS that is bundled with just about every personal computer sold today.

Google’s Chrome OS will be available as an OS first on the smaller netbook computers, which I had written about in a past column this year (Jan. 26). Netbooks, in this humble columnists opinion, have become increasingly popular since that column, although I take no direct credit (or royalties) for the netbook phenomenon occurring.

Google, in its search engine, uses a form of the Linux kernel (which is a Unix-like OS) this will be the base for Google’s Chrome OS, and will be an “open source” operating system, which just means anyone can contribute to it, make improvements and modifications, upon approval of Google.

This is pretty much how the Mozilla Fire Fox browser works.

Mozilla, which had formerly been known for Netscape web browsers, and the older Mosaic browser from around 1994, today supports the now popular Fire Fox browsers.

By the way, the previous version of Fire Fox or FF, I used (before version 3.5) was probably one of the most frustrating versions of Fire Fox I have used. The number of crashes which occurred right when I would be in the middle of an online chat or messaging would become frustrating. I had discovered it wasn’t only on my computer Fire Fox was crashing on, and since the latest FF upgrade; my computing system has been much more stable.

It appears Google is making a direct challenge to Microsoft, which is interesting since Microsoft just launched, its own search engine (Bing) in direct competition to Google, and Bing has been gaining in popularity. Bing is not as well- known as Google search, of course, but Bing is a very good search engine, and I hope you have tried it since I wrote a column about Bing back on June 8.

Google also launched its Google Chrome web browser last year, and since then more than 30 million users have been using it.

Competition is good, right? I mean, look at Apple computer and all its success.

No doubt Google faces an uphill battle against Microsoft, and I do not look for the Chrome OS to become the software operating system de facto standard anytime soon, but it is good to see Google making the effort.

And do not forget, there are many hard-core Mac users out there who have been very happy with their computers operating systems and will see no reason to abandon them, which is understandable.

Of course, being Google Chrome will be designed as an open source operating system, they will not need to spend the amount of money on research, development and maintenance as Microsoft does with their operating systems.

I was reading information about the Chrome OS on Google’s official blog, and they state, “Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 (Intel and AMD processors as an example), as well as ARM (32 bit processor chip made by a tech company called ARM Ltd.) and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.”

Google also has an application called Android, which is an OS used on mobile devices.

The Google blog talked about this and said, “Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.”

In talking about the Chrome OS, Google says they have a lot of work to do. Well, yes, I would think so, since this operating system will be an open source one, the online community of open source programmers will need to be very involved with this.

The link to the official Google blog which talks about its new OS can be reached by using this shortened URL I made: http://tinyurl.com/mkt6lv.

This week on the Web Site of the Week’s online forum, the busy bits_blogger will have some interesting behind the-scenes information about Google’s new Chrome OS, so be sure to check it out.