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What Is Google Chrome OS And Why Does It Matter?

November 20, 2009

Google held a big press conference today to reveal new details about its Chrome OS, the operating system launched in July.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds in store for desktop OS’s and apps, but I for one believe that we’re all moving online and Google is positioning itself beautifully to capitalize on that trend with its advertising revenue model.

Here are five ways that Chrome OS is different, courtesy of  Ben Parr at

  1. The browser IS the OS. Unlike Internet Explorer and Firefox, you don’t have a browser sitting on top of an operating system.
  2. The OS is designed to fix itself. Applications are placed in “security sandboxes,” and if the system finds that its code has been compromised, it reboots and fixes itself.  Kinda reminds me of a starfish regenerating arms.
  3. Web apps only, no installations. No MS Office, no Tweetdeck, no nothing that requires installation.  Not even Google’s Android apps will run on the system.
  4. The OS will not run on your laptop. Netbooks with their solid-state hard drives only.  Printing will not be handled with installation of printer drivers because, refer to #3, nothing gets installed.
  5. Super-fast startup speeds. We all appreciate speed in the digital world.  No applications to slow down the boot time and everything deemed “unnecessary” has been removed.

Mark my words, desktops and desktop applications are going the way of the T-Rex.

This is one cartoonist’s take on how Google views Microsoft (h/t to Mashable):

Santa, I know what I want for Christmas…. (and yes, I know I’m talking about X-mas 2010).

For a simple explanation of Chrome OS and how it works, check out the video below.

While there are some who think that Google is pushing its new OS simply to tap into the market of consumers waiting for cheap computers, I am personally somebody who can’t wait to tell the cell phone companies to take their smartphones and shove them.  I’ll be perfectly happy to carry a simple flip phone and a small netbook for my mobile computing needs.  I’m tired of squinting at my cell phone.  Take that, Microsoft!

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