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Google Announces Google Chrome Operating System

Google announced that it is getting into the operating system business with Google Chrome Operating System. The new OS is described as Google's attempt to "re-think" what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS will be an open source, lightweight operating system that is initially targeted at netbooks.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

The new OS will run on both x86 and ARM chips. The first netbooks will begin shipping with the OS in the second half of 2010. In the long term, Google does expect that Chrome OS will work anywhere from small netbooks to full size desktop machines.

While Microsoft has the most to lose from such direct competition from Google, Apple will also be affected by Google's move into this space. In fact, Google's ultimate goal seems to be the same target market as Apple's, and is specifically shooting for ease of use and accessibility.

The Web will be a central part of the new operating system, and demonstrates the importance of supplying a robust browser experience. Google's work on the Chrome browser will carry over into the new OS.

The software architecture is simple -- Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.