Chrome OS Unveiled, Focused on Netbooks, the Cloud

Chrome OS is a natural evolution of the work that’s been done on the Chrome browser, Sundar Pichai, VP of product management, and Chrome OS engineering director Matthew Papakipos said when they unveiled it at Google’s (S goog) Mountain View campus on Thursday. The operating system is designed to imbue web applications with the “full functionality of desktop applications.” As for the reasons behind the development of the new platform, they pointed to rapid growth in the netbook market — where Chrome OS is aimed — and cloud computing. Read More about Chrome OS Unveiled, Focused on Netbooks, the Cloud

What’s Next for the Netbook Market?

JDD090910-mobilize-D71_3072While smartphone sales have proliferated, netbooks are a burgeoning market that was put in the spotlight when Google (s goog) announced its Chrome OS this summer. Though netbooks aren’t a new player in the tech space, it’s undeniable that consumers’ interest in these devices is rising — but why now? Sure, netbooks are cheap, which is a positive, given the struggling economy, as Mark Spoonauer, editor in chief at LAPTOP Magazine, noted today during a panel at our Mobilize conference. But netbooks also bring together the portability and wireless connectivity that consumers are craving, each of the panelists agreed. While smartphones are a quick fix for information gathering, netbooks are designed for people who want to do more than three minutes of web browsing, said Brian Pitstick, GM of Ultra Mobile Devices at Dell (s dell). Read More about What’s Next for the Netbook Market?

In the Market for a Netbook? Watch the OS Developments


Due to their favorable price points, and how very mobile they are, netbooks — small, light portable computers — remain one of the hottest hardware categories. If you’re in the market for one, I posted some shopping tips on them back in early March. Since that post, there have been quite a few developments on the operating system front, which may affect any planned netbook purchases you may have. Here are some of the key issues that you should factor in if you have your eyes on a new netbook.
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Spite Is Not a Business Strategy

-1Count me among the skeptics who see Google’s (s goog) Chrome OS announcement this week as, first and foremost, an effort to induce pain in its longtime rival Microsoft (s msft). And a pointless one at that.

Many people writing about Chrome OS have argued that there’s a sound business strategy behind it, that of leading to more Google ads for us to click on. While I agree in principle, I also think it’s easy to overstate the benefit to Google: Isn’t most of its revenue already coming from surfers using Windows-based PCs? And yes, many PCs take minutes to boot up and hours to configure – as Google cattily pointed out in arguing how computers (read: Windows) “need to get better” — but will we really use the time saved to click on sponsored links? I doubt it. Read More about Spite Is Not a Business Strategy

Hey Apple: It’s Time for Eric Schmidt to Go

2218489999_4bcc6e039cEnough is enough. It’s time for Eric Schmidt to resign from Apple’s board. Sure, Apple (s aapl) and Google (s goog) have a common enemy in Microsoft, (s msft) so at one time it made sense for Google CEO Eric Schmidt to have a seat on Apple’s board of directors. But Apple and Google are competing on more and more fronts, Android and Chrome OS being among the most prominent examples. Read More about Hey Apple: It’s Time for Eric Schmidt to Go

Google Chrome OS: Hype, Hope or Humbug?

Google Chrome OSSo there’s a new OS that’s based on the web, relies primarily on a web browser, and whose native apps are web apps. Old news, you say? We already know about Palm’s (s palm) WebOS. No, I don’t mean that one. This one will primarily target netbooks. Still old news, you say, because we know a modified Android is coming to netbooks soon. No, I don’t mean that, either. I’m speaking of a Linux kernel with a modern web browser. Way old news, you say, since Linux distros and Firefox were available on netbooks even before Windows. No, no, I don’t mean that, either.

I’m talking about Google’s (s goog) brand-new (on paper) Chrome OS. Introduced only a day ago, I’m disappointed we didn’t get a comic book to describe to us simpletons how this will revolutionize our life. Because it’s from Google. So you can run the company’s services. And see its ads. Read More about Google Chrome OS: Hype, Hope or Humbug?

The GigaOM Network on Chrome OS

chrome_osWithout a doubt, Google (s goog) stole the spotlight with the announcement of its upcoming Chrome operating system late yesterday and sent everyone buzzing about the search giant’s very public swipe against Microsoft (s msft). But amid all the chatter on the Web, Stacey Higginbotham warned on GigaOM that we shouldn’t get too excited just yet since Google still has to tackle the gargantuan task of convincing carriers that selling netbooks with the OS is the way to go. Instead, the Chrome OS announcement signals the company is another step closer to creating an advertising operating system that “extends across all devices and all screens.“ Across the GigaOM Network at WebWorkerDaily, Simon Mackie had a hunch that Google would be making this move soon (read his post on GigaOM Pro; subscription required) and says it makes a lot of sense now that the majority of people’s computing activity happens on the web. Read More about The GigaOM Network on Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS: The Perfect Web App OS?

chrome_os_streamPeople have been talking about a Google OS for years; I even wrote a post for GigaOM Pro recently speculating on a Google “Web OS” (subscription required). Well, late yesterday Google (s goog) announced that it’s working on a brand new operating system, Chrome OS. According to the announcement, Chrome OS will be a natural extension of the the excellent Chrome browser. This will be a new, lightweight operating system, designed from the ground up — not based on Android — and originally targeted at netbooks.

The announcement rightly points out that the major operating systems available today were designed before the web existed. With most people’s computing activity centered on the web today, a new OS that makes the web the platform makes a lot of sense. As James Kendrick over at our sister blog jkOnTheRun notes, Chrome OS is a “web, or cloud, OS that puts the bulk of all user activity firmly up in the web.” For people primarily using web apps, a lightweight operating system designed for working on the web with instant access to all of your applications and most of the heavy lifting done by the cloud could be perfect. But let’s not get too excited just yet — Chrome OS isn’t expected to be available until the second half of 2010.

What are your thoughts on Google Chrome OS?