Google announced today on its blog that it is developing its own operating system in a direct challenge to Microsoft Windows system.
Google said the Google Chrome OS, an extension of it Chrome Web browser, is an open source, lightweight operating system that initially will be targeted at netbooks. The company said later this year it will open-source its code and netbooks running the operating system will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.
Google said it has begun talking to partners about the new operating system.
The blog post was authored by Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director.
“Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the Web in a few seconds,” the blog post said.
“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better,” he wrote.
“Eventually, Google hopes to scale the software to full-scale PC’s as well”
Google stressed that Google Chrome OS is separate from Android, the company’s operating system for mobile devises. While “Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks,” Google said, the Chrome OS “is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems.”
“It’s been part of their culture to go after and remove Microsoft as a major holder of technology, and this is part of their strategy to do it,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group. “This could be very disruptive. If they can execute, Microsoft is vulnerable to an attack like this, and they know it,” he said.