Yes, it is now official; the much hyped Chrome OS will be released to manufacturers and into the wild around the 4th Quarter of this year. Google Vice President, Sundar Pichai announced this at the COMPUTEX Cloud Computing forum. This Cloud computing forum featured executives from Google, ARM and Quanta Computers.
Chrome OS will initially be engineered to run on laptops and other mobile devices rather than full blown Desktops and Notebook Laptops. It is widely expected to compete with Microsoft’s Windows 7 as well as other operating systems.
Certification by the company is meant to ensure hardware makers create a quality device for users. Chrome OS will limit certain customization such as user interfaces at first to sustain a single user experience in all their OSes. This is similar to what Microsoft is doing with their Windows phone 7.
The Chrome web apps Store shall open at the same time, so that individuals can download web applications that can then be installed on the Chrome device. “For Chrome OS, we are focused on laptops for this year“, Google’s Vice President said at Computex.
Of course, the news is welcomed, seeing that one of the characteristics of the Chrome OS is speed. Compared to Windows 7 which takes minutes to boot, Chrome is expected to boot within seconds. The OS itself is sparse and would rely greatly on cloud computing and web apps, and so begs the question whether the Chrome OS itself will not compete with Google Android OS. As it is now, you can see Android running on Mobile devices, including phones, tablet form computers and even laptops. In other words Chrome and Android will fight for the same niche.
When asked these pertinent questions about the Chrome vs. Android debate, Mr. Pichai said that “providing open source platforms will allow the market to make the best determination about what operating system will work best in the mass market“. Android has taken off in earnest; it will thus be interesting to see how Chrome OS will develop.
For now, we’ll just wait and see if Chrome OS will give Microsoft or Apple a real challenge when it becomes available in the 4th quarter of this year.
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