Google plans to to release its Chrome computer operating system in the "late fall", a top executive said on Wednesday.
Google's Chrome operating system had been announced in July 2009. The first version of the open-source OS will be aimed at low-power laptop PCs.
Google has described the project as "a fundamentally different model of computing." And that because the entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.
Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn't trust the applications users run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect a computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time a user restart a computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If a system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot.
Google is also focusing on speed. Every unnecessary process is taken out, optimizing many operations and running everything possible in parallel. This means users will be able to go from turning on the computer to surfing the web in a few seconds. Google is also specifying reference hardware components to create the fastest experience for Google Chrome OS.
Google executives have indicated the Chrome OS should be in the same $300 to $400 range of other netbooks, even though the company isn't charging manufacturers to use its system.
The computer manufacturers that have expressed an interest in using the Chrome OS include Acer and HP.
For Chrome OS connection to the Cloud is the most important feature. This means that Google is aiming this OS squarely at netbooks and Internet Tablets which must have WiFi and possible 3G connectivity. Chrome OS will support the ARM family of processors as well as processors like Intel's Atom.
Google is seeking to challenge the dominance of Microsoft's Windows operating system, which currently runs on more than 90 percent of all personal computers currently. Although
Google it would be very hard to unseat Microsoft from their dominant position on the desktop, the company beileves that the Chrome OS will be "the natural choices for mobile Internet devices."