Google today unveiled more details of Chrome OS, a lightweight, browser-based operating system for netbooks.
With a strong focus on speed, the Chrome OS promises nearly instant boot times of about 7 seconds for users to login to their computers.
“We want Google Chrome OS to be blazingly fast … to boot up like a TV,” said Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management for Google.
The first Chrome OS netbooks will be available in late 2010, Pichai said. It will not be available as a download to run and install. Instead, Chrome OS is only shipping on specific hardware from manufacturers Google has partnered with. That means if you want Chrome OS, you'll have to purchase a Chrome OS device.
Google is currently working with unnamed computer manufacturers to define specifications for these computers, which Pichai said will include larger netbook-style computers with full-size keyboards, large trackpads and large displays.
Chrome OS netbooks will not have traditional hard disk drives — they will rely on non-volatile flash memory and Internet-based storage for saving all of your data.
All the applications will be web-based, meaning users won’t have to install apps, manage updates or even backup their data. All data will be stored in the cloud, and users won’t even have to bother with anti-virus software: Google claims it will monitor code to prevent malicious activity in Chrome OS web apps.
“Chrome OS is a totally rethought computer that will let you focus on the Internet, so you can stop worrying about your computer,” according to a Google promotional video shown at the event, held at the Google campus in Mountain View, California.
Dumb terminals are an old idea. Every so often some “new” technology tries to move us back in that direction, but the fact is, people don’t want to give up their hard drives. 1) Ownership is a fundamental human drive, and 2) we all know that a hard drive is way more reliable than an Internet connection.