There’s been constant rumours of a Google operating system since the dawn of time. A while back they let slip that inside the Googleplex they use a customised version of Ubuntu (called Goobuntu, naturally). Lately they’ve developed their Chrome browser and the Android mobile operating system. Since they compete against the likes of Microsoft already, surely it was just a matter of time before they attacked Redmond where it hurts: the desktop OS?
Google says it’s all true
Chrome OS will be a lightweight Linux distro aimed at the netbook market. All they’ve said so far is that they aim for speed and focus on the web. Presumably that means plugging right into Google’s excellent range of cloud services, as Android does.
They’ve also said they will use a “new windowing system”, by which they probably mean this distro won’t be wearing either Gnome or KDE. Hopefully that isn’t going to break compatibility with the vast number of existing Linux apps, which would be a massive shame for users.
No word either on whether Google will be maintaining their own repo, or whether they’ll be piggybacking on one of the established distros. Also under wraps is which browser this web-centric OS will be running. Android runs Webkit and Google have strongly promoted Firefox for years, but the obvious choice would seem to be the Chrome browser.
So not a lot of detail, but tantalising news indeed. Netbooks pre-installed with Chrome OS should be available in late 2010.