Google dropped the bomb late last night;
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.
People are going to pull this news in a lot of different directions. Some will call it a genius, overdue step; others will tweet dazed and confused, pondering what the point is. Here’s the low down: It’s a Linux OS. It’s lightweight and will likely run on dirt cheap hardware, and is directly targeting the netbook market. It’s designed with a focus on the web browser. They aren’t the first to do it, nor will they be the last.
Chrome OS’s target audience will in all likelihood be less tech savvy individuals who use their browser for everything (my parents would be a perfect fit here; they do everything out of the browser these days), developing countries with old hardware (but Internet access, obviously) and schools. I could see Libraries seeing this as a nice fit too, assuming there are content control capabilities in there somewhere.
I think it’s a step in the right direction in a lot of ways, and I really applaud Google for pushing things as they are right now. Chrome, Android and now Chrome OS. Keep on pushing those boundaries, 1.0 x 10100.