Chrome OS Hits Developers

chrome_os_logo2-thumb-550x308-20421Google has finally released the Chrome OS but only for the developers. It is currently available for download for anyone who is interested in building the OS themselves. That’s because the download only provides the binaries and not a ready-installable version. In fact, that will actually never happen.

That’s because Google intends to strictly control the hardware configuration on which Chrome OS runs. The OS also eliminates low-performance hardware components like the hard disk drive. It will use only SSDs instead.

Moves like these are prompted by Google’s overall vision for this new OS, which can be summed up in three major goals – speed, simplicity and reliability.

To achieve extra speed, Chrome OS runs on a custom built Linux environment that is stripped clean of anything but the bare essentials. On top of this we have only one native application running and that is the Chrome browser. So in all practicality the browser is the OS.

Once the users boot, they will be on the browser, ready to get online. Boot time is being targeted as 7 seconds or less. Every application that the Chrome OS will ever run will be a web application like Gmail, Google Docs, Wave, etc. Yes, those are what web applications are and there are many more such sophisticated web apps ones online that replace things like Photoshop, Illustrator, desktop 3D games, etc.

Simplicity is in the minimalist design of the OS. This is something that the OS directly inherits from Google, along with the love for speed. There is nothing that the user has to do except use a Chrome OS device. Everything else, like maintenance, updating, virus protection, etc. is taken care of by Google.

It is coming in the second half on 2010 as pre-installed on netbook devices from Google’s partner companies. Google’s long term plan includes a desktop OS as well.