Chrome OS – FAQ’s
Around this time last year Google released the Chromium OS source code. Ever since then there have been many ups and downs, rumours and counter rumours surrounding the official launch of Google’s new operating system; Chrome OS.
In-spite of the time we’ve had to learn about the upcoming Chrome OS it seems as if the general public is still confused about what exactly it is and how it will work. In preparation for the release of Chrome OS in the coming few weeks; I have decided to do an FAQ to get everyone up to speed:
What is Chrome OS
Chrome OS is an operating system developed by Google. It is an operating system in much the same way as Windows or Mac OSX.
Even so, there are some slight differences between Chrome OS and other operating systems. Chrome OS emphasizes ‘cloud computing’ by using web application and online storage of data. The main aim of Chrome OS is to move as much data and processing power to the ‘cloud’.
What is Chromium OS
Chromium OS is the source code that Google released last year; it will be the bases for Chrome OS. Therefore Chromium OS is open-source and can be used by anyone to produce their own distributions of Chromium OS. A young developer (Hexxeh) has already done this and is known for creating Chromium OS distributions like Chromium OS Vanilla which have become very popular during the last year.
The difference between Chrome OS and Chromium OS
Chrome OS is the operating system that Google is working on and will be releasing soon. This is Google’s own, branded operating system which is based on Chromium OS source code; in much the same way Hexxeh’s Chromium OS Flow is based on Chromium OS source code.
On the other hand, Chromium OS is not an operating system, rather it is the source code that one may use to build an operating system.
Another major difference is that Chrome OS is not (or will not be) ‘open-source’. Rather Chrome OS will be ‘Google owned’ and developed; only Chromium OS is open sourced. Hence if you build a distribution of Chromium OS, never call it Chrome OS to avoid getting into a fist fight with Google.
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is ‘Internet based computing’. Data and applications are stored on a remote server and client devices (e.g. netbooks, laptops or PC’s) then access this data over the Internet. This is a simple definition of cloud computing.
Chrome OS is a ‘cloud operating system’ becase all applications (Web Apps) and data will be stored on remote servers.
What are Web Applications
Web applications have existed for a long time, you probably use one everyday (e.g. Gmail or Google Docs). Chrome OS will use web applications hence Google is currently preparing the ‘Google Web Store‘ which will showcase all these applications in much the same way as the Android Market.
Web applications are different from websites. With Chrome OS you will be able to install and execute web applications without having to type in a url each time. Web Applications will be able to interact with hardware resources on your computer ‘more intimately’ allowing for a more powerful user experience reminisce3nt of any ‘native’ application.
Why should I wait for Chrome OS Netbooks
Chrome OS Netbooks (or Speedbooks) will be hitting the market by this Christmas (according to assurances from Google). Here are a couple of reasons why you might like to forgo buying that Ipad and wait till they’re out:
- They’ll be super fast because computing resources will mostly be on the cloud, not on the device
- Fast boot speeds (less that 10 second boot speeds) – read more
- They will have better hardware than current netbooks – read more
- Chrome OS Netbooks will be very cheap – read more
- Very Secure - There will be ‘no’ virases – read more
- Little maintanace – Chrome OS devices will “self heal” (the OS with Google servers to make sure everything is alright at boot)
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