Google's Chrome OS slips to 2011 "consumer launch"

Google originally said that its Chrome OS would debut for free in Autumn. Reports now suggest that the OS will not arrive until 2011.

Google originally announced the operating system back in July, eventually making a beta available for testing, and will release it free for all users. The new OS is designed to compete directly with Microsoft's Windows software. Google is ditching Windows machines for Mac and Linux based operating systems. The company has allowed employees to purchase new machines running Mac or Linux without approval, but requires authority from CIO's for new Windows-based machines.

Engadget reports that Acer's Jim Wong confirmed that the company would not be launching a Chrome OS netbook until 2011. Wong said this would be in parallel with the "consumer launch" of the OS next year. The comments come after a report earlier this month by Digitimes that claimed Google was on target to push its new OS to the masses. At least one device was expected by the end of November. It was originally believed that both Acer and HP would launch Chrome OS smartbooks in December but it appears this is no longer the case.

Google's operating system will be based on the browser, Google Chrome, and will work with web-based applications. Google's cloud offerings will be the main focus of the new OS.

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Has anyone really looked at the world of the SSD. MY computer with a SSD loads up in about 7 to 10 seconds (both iMac and Win7). The applications load up very quickly; a great deal faster then the Internet or any browser can. The OS system is going to be around for a long time, and with the invent of the SSD along with multiple processors, desktop system are getting faster. Point: I just loaded Excel 2007 in less then 3 seconds, and Word 2007 in just 2 seconds slower then Excel. Lets see you do that with an Internet applications.

Unless you have a T-3 sitting on your roof cable or board band internet services are going to be just to slow.

Yeah, I do not really care if mine boots up in 30 or 60. Furthermore, in chrome os I can't believe there will be no boot time at all, they have to load drivers etc. Even Ubuntu Mini (12.5MB, terminal only) takes about 5-10s to show me login message. And since COS is based on linux (it is, right?) - how there are going to make it any better with GUI?

Action Hank said,
Yeah, I do not really care if mine boots up in 30 or 60. Furthermore, in chrome os I can't believe there will be no boot time at all, they have to load drivers etc. Even Ubuntu Mini (12.5MB, terminal only) takes about 5-10s to show me login message. And since COS is based on linux (it is, right?) - how there are going to make it any better with GUI?

While it's light weight the speed boost comes because Google are asking hardware manufacturers to only use solid state drives and also cutting out some of / most of the system checks that just aren't necessary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTFfl7AjNfI from 30 seconds onwards for more information.

Windows 8 will have some good competition! I can't wait to hear the softies plans for cloud support and how they will combat google.

jasonon said,
Windows 8 will have some good competition! I can't wait to hear the softies plans for cloud support and how they will combat google.

you gotta be kidding me

Sorry, ChromeOS will be DOA unless it can actually snag a few sales on brand loyalty alone. Any other netbook OS can run a webbrowser in full screen mode. Don't want the complexity of Ubuntu or Windows?

Get MeeGo. Very fast boot, very snappy OS, comes with Chrome/Chromium, plus offline workability, plenty of potential for social integration (if they can just get Facebook already), syncing, etc. Every time I play with Chrome OS, I just shake my head and wonder if anybody in the world can name one single, solitary reason to use it instead of MeeGo.

/the worst part is, netbooks are dying in the wake of slates and 11-12" compact laptops--NOBODY needs this form factor anymore

by definition an OS has a list of requirements a mile long in order to operate on physical hardware and peripherals... these requirements don't magically disappear because a buncha fanboys go 'hey that's a great idea!'

there are some monstrous reasons that desktop OSes are millions of lines of code and the results of decades of expensive development, sorry Google isnt going to come out with something that skips over all those realities in the space of a year.

5 years until something reasonable happens with ChromeOS as a true competitive alternative for all but the most child like users. If they keep going that long.

neowinman said,
by definition an OS has a list of requirements a mile long in order to operate on physical hardware and peripherals... these requirements don't magically disappear because a buncha fanboys go 'hey that's a great idea!'

there are some monstrous reasons that desktop OSes are millions of lines of code and the results of decades of expensive development, sorry Google isnt going to come out with something that skips over all those realities in the space of a year.

5 years until something reasonable happens with ChromeOS as a true competitive alternative for all but the most child like users. If they keep going that long.

What makes your think that Chrome OS won't support those devices? Source?

warwagon said,
i'll pass. Now give me android....

Seriously. While they're at it, give us Android customer service, hah.

SuperHans said,
One thing I would like to see: Steam OS

One thing I've always thought that there could be a games os, nothing else just the games / graphics layer. Directx does a pretty job of this already, but I wonder how much quicker a pc would be with just an os centred around games, similar to a console but on the pc.

SuperHans said,
One thing I would like to see: Steam OS

One thing I've always thought that there could be a games os, nothing else just the games / graphics layer. Directx does a pretty job of this already, but I wonder how much quicker a pc would be with just an os centred around games, similar to a console but on the pc.

SuperHans said,
One thing I would like to see: Steam OS

No thank you. I like my stuff DRM free. Imagine Valve unplugging the plug. Even in the license agreement, it says you purchase subscription for games, not a fully license for yourself.

ChromeOS is nothing but a stripped down version of SuSe. Running it right now and I can say that it responds well enough even running off of a Live CD. The interface is plastic looking thanks to being a stripped down version of KDE. However, an attempt has been made at simplifying the User Interface.

At first when looking for installed software (after clicking Computer>Applications), it appears that ChromeOS is sparsely populated with goodies despite it being a 600m+ download. It is easy to over look "More Applications" listed on the Application screen. Clicking on More Applications launches "Application Browser" and presents you with several programs divided into sections such as Multimedia, Internet, System, and a few others. Installed software includes OpenOffice, Picasa, Chrome browser (shock! [although it did offer me my choice of search engines including Bing ;-)]). Pidgin and GIMP about the only other programs of note shown. all of the others are mostly the usual. Sound recorder, options, wine... etc.

As much as I usually dislike Linux in general, and Suse and Fedora in particular, for a small, underpowered netbook that would really only be used for stuff like surfing or email, or some quick Image/Document work I think this might be a workable OS. However, when compared to other OS options such as Windows 7, Mac OSX, or even full Linuxes (K/Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, et al), I don't think ChromeOS will stand much chance. While ChromeOS has repositories and YaST (ugh) for software management, I just htinjk it will be too much of a niche product for normal use. It looks, feels, and acts more like a design for netbooks and tablets and should be aimed at those platforms.

andrew_f said,

You are using a fake version. ChromeOS / ChromiumOS is *not* SuSE. I can only presume you're using http://www.sizlopedia.com/2009...official-chrome-os-by-suse/
If you want to play with a real (developer build) of Chromium OS download one of Hexxeh's builds at http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/

The version I was using was the one that GOOGLE's own LINKS led to. As for the Hexxeh ChromeOS, it is slow, buggy, AND useless, the trifecta of FOSS FailOS. Go back to the drawing board. it is a waste of time.

I think they really should just scrap the idea of it being a seperate branch from android and integrate it a GUI of sorts to android, not only would it speed up development but also have common dev library around plus more general features then a single cloud OS would which would broaden it's appeal.

I always find the boot time arguement to be pointless, at least for me. If you use Sleep (it's in the windows start menu) your computer starts fast! With a solid state disk, my computer starts up in literally 1 second. With a spinning disk, its about 5 seconds.

am I the only one not bothered about the 45s startup time?

I know PC/Mac/*nic enthusiasts have already taken care of programs and boot up processes and what not, so there is really no need to press a button and be instant on. Moreover, the people that I just mentioned might actually leave the computer on (I actually never shut mine off, except for the 6mo dust cleanup and re-cabling). So, for the rest of the ignorant world (do not mean to offend anyone as I am sure each person has their own qualities) needs the instant on?! really?

Now, assuming the cloud based computing is so nifty then do they want all the files to be stored online? Really? ISP's are prepared for the traffic?!

As the almost secure, it is still funny o think people might get on the bandwagon of GC OS is the savior of us all?! Remains to be seen, good concept that targets a specific niche.

Right now the focus going forward, at least short term, is that netbooks and tablets are not really used for productivity but more-so for quick on the go access to the net, all things small and more for entertainment purposes. Of course there will be an enterprise need and there will be some focus on it but right now, they can all see that the consumers want it more right now than the enterprise. At least that's what I see and think. Am I wrong?

If I had a netbook, then I'd definitely use ChromeOS since I do agree the main thing open 24/7 would be Firefox. I wouldn't use this on my main computer due to downloading most of my time. I could easily give ChromeOS to my wife or mom. Since they aren't that computer-smart.

What Microsoft should do to compete with Google's Chrome OS is the have 2 boot options. One is to boot into a web state you can boot into an IE type atmosphere, Chrome OS or maybe even a Firefox solution if they create one. In the web state you should be able to pull down the file menu and have the OS load up in the background while you wait and notify you when it's ready. The other option would be to just boot directly into Windows.

dogmai79 said,
What Microsoft should do to compete with Google's Chrome OS is the have 2 boot options. One is to boot into a web state you can boot into an IE type atmosphere, Chrome OS or maybe even a Firefox solution if they create one. In the web state you should be able to pull down the file menu and have the OS load up in the background while you wait and notify you when it's ready. The other option would be to just boot directly into Windows.

The web state boot would defeat the purpose though. The point with Chrome OS is that there's no underlying system to mess with, or mess up. Neither by you, or by malware you've caught. It's kind of the ultimate secure OS for amateur users. But yeah, it comes at a pretty high price.

Northgrove said,

The web state boot would defeat the purpose though. The point with Chrome OS is that there's no underlying system to mess with, or mess up. Neither by you, or by malware you've caught. It's kind of the ultimate secure OS for amateur users. But yeah, it comes at a pretty high price.

If they keep the two completely separate with something that makes you prove your physical access along with a key or password/phrase, than they should be able to make something like that work. More of a dual boot like atmosphere I think. Now I'm starting to get myself thrown off because of trying to think of different scenarios that might work, not that any of it would happen lol

While I don't see it replacing my desktop by any means, the idea is solid and would be great for on the go... but the question or having internet on the go is an important one.

Will be keeping my eye on this though.

I don't see this being DOA. I think if any company can pull this off, it's Google. They have the resources, capital and name to do so. My main interest would be in seeing them move beyond netbooks, though it looks like that is pretty much the focus. A hybrid of the Google Chrome with Android would have seemed a bit better, but this is probably more realistic for people with average internet connections (i.e. not 15Mbps/15Mbps).

look forward to getting this for my netbook, i mainly only use that for internet. always full screen my web browser anyway so might as well dual boot it with chrome OS and win7

This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS? Granted, its a fresh approach to an operating system, but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns, and even if they do, what's preventing me from booting another OS and just running my web browser full screen?

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.

Majesticmerc said,
This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS? Granted, its a fresh approach to an operating system, but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns, and even if they do, what's preventing me from booting another OS and just running my web browser full screen?

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.

Chrome OS will be DOA

Might just be me but these so called web apps are nothing more than a fancy icon that leads to a webpage. It's basically the Chrome browser with bookmarks stamped with an icon. I wish they would stop making it seems like something amazing.

OceanMotion said,
Might just be me but these so called web apps are nothing more than a fancy icon that leads to a webpage. It's basically the Chrome browser with bookmarks stamped with an icon. I wish they would stop making it seems like something amazing.

The real feature is the boot speed. You'll basically be able to switch it on and start using it almost immediately.

I think the reason people aren't getting that excited about it yet is because there aren't that many cloud based apps yet, but when they do start to appear, it'll be a great OS - and fast.

Majesticmerc said,
This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS? Granted, its a fresh approach to an operating system, but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns, and even if they do, what's preventing me from booting another OS and just running my web browser full screen?

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.

I love the concept and all, and I do use the browser more than any other application on any OS, but as you say it is a solution in search of bigger problems and their solutions to actually replace Windows or Mac or Linux.

For a mom-and-pop consumer, however, a browser is more than sufficient for day to day activities. So I can see people purchasing it assuming that the marketing is better than what it was for Nexus One. I don't think they would be looking for mass market adoption in the first release. The "free" tag however is going to be extremely attractive and thus is a threat to Windows and Mac in the long run in terms of regular consumers, school kids, etc. who need a cheap computer to do simple things.

I would really hate to see this catch on with Google storing everything on their servers. I prefer having local storage for anything that is mine and I would do not trust Google with storing my personal files.

I see Windows Live Mesh as a way better option than this Google cloud crap. At least Windows Live Mesh allows you to Sync files between your computers wherever they are in the world using a torrent like protocol, with the option of storing stuff on Skydrive, which I would never use. With Google, everything is on their servers. Nothing on our computers. I do not like this one bit.

Nick Brunt said,
The real feature is the boot speed. You'll basically be able to switch it on and start using it almost immediately.

I think the reason people aren't getting that excited about it yet is because there aren't that many cloud based apps yet, but when they do start to appear, it'll be a great OS - and fast.

Fast != Secure.
Slow != Secure.
Nearly Secure ~ Secure.

I think people need to start thinking about security for their digital things the same way as they secure real things. Would you give your personal things at home to someone whom you have never met in person before or whom you will never meet? I wouldn't give up security for faster than speed of light data transfer because I could be robbed faster than the speed of light.

Edited by Jebadiah, Nov 25 2010, 2:35pm :

Majesticmerc said,
This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS? Granted, its a fresh approach to an operating system, but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns, and even if they do, what's preventing me from booting another OS and just running my web browser full screen?

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.


I don't consider this a solution in search of a problem. The problems today are sticky malware, people messing up their computers, heavy operating systems, etc. This OS should solve all these problems, while being cheaper to boot since Google can take out so much complexity compared to a Windows OS from it.

Apple fans are today mocking Windows users about having more malware, and Windows fans are retorting with Apple only being a non-target for now because their desktop market is still so small. Well, this OS can't even get viruses to stick, since the OS won't give system file access besides for some well-controlled API:s in order to set cookies or store web site-isolated data (a HTML 5 feature). Even if Google Chrome OS takes off like crazy, Google will still be able to laugh antivirus users in the face. They can also safely poke fun at users messing up the Windows Registry after a failed software or driver install, etc.

If looking at this OS from a non-geek perspective, I definitely think it has a market. Although, yes, it's a bold move by Google. It's such a radical change in direction. Yes, it has some major weaknesses depending on which kind of user you are, but also major benefits thanks to its architecture.

Majesticmerc said,
This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS?

OEM's are very interested in it.

Majesticmerc said,

but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns

Virtually everybody who uses a computer, also uses a web browser and web sites. This a potent combination. There's little to no learning curve for apps, because they run though your browser. This is the age of Twitter, Facebook, and social networking. People are spending increasingly more time within the browser platform, and so traditional unconnected, fat applications are getting slidelined in favour of web content. This all adds up to the browser effectively becoming the operating system, or at least the interface to it.

Security is also a concern for most computer users, and so an OS which never runs outside of a sandboxed user mode and has no association with the malware ridden Windows environment, is very attractive to users and OEM's alike.

Majesticmerc said,

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.

I think google is being very innovative and forwarding thinking with this. It's embracing the increasingly internet/browser/social networking driven patterns of behaviour of computer users.

Flawed said,
<Snip for convenience>

My point is though that everything that can be done in chrome OS can be done with a web browser, a couple of extensions and some open tabs. There's no doubt that there's innovation here, but when the same thing could be done with a slimmed down Linux distro and a web browser, are they going too far in the opposite direction? I think the big money would be in the middle ground with seamless integration between web applications and local programs, not one or the other.

To an extent, I fear that this is another of Google's "lets change how people think/work" projects like Buzz and/or Wave. They're only fears mind you, I'd love to give it a test drive, but my sceptical side is getting the better of me at the minute.

Majesticmerc said,
This might sound naïve of me, but does anyone really care about ChromeOS? Granted, its a fresh approach to an operating system, but I can't see many web apps replacing local ones in the near future due to poor performance or security concerns, and even if they do, what's preventing me from booting another OS and just running my web browser full screen?

Looks to me like a solution in search of a problem, but obviously I'm happy to get proven wrong.

I don't. Do we really need a "Cloud OS"?

Frylock86 said,

I don't. Do we really need a "Cloud OS"?

Nope but the geek squad, Google and Microsoft seem to think that's what everyone needs because they are simply not thinking with a broad business sense.

Flawed said,

OEM's are very interested in it.


Virtually everybody who uses a computer, also uses a web browser and web sites. This a potent combination. There's little to no learning curve for apps, because they run though your browser. This is the age of Twitter, Facebook, and social networking. People are spending increasingly more time within the browser platform, and so traditional unconnected, fat applications are getting slidelined in favour of web content. This all adds up to the browser effectively becoming the operating system, or at least the interface to it.

Security is also a concern for most computer users, and so an OS which never runs outside of a sandboxed user mode and has no association with the malware ridden Windows environment, is very attractive to users and OEM's alike.


I think google is being very innovative and forwarding thinking with this. It's embracing the increasingly internet/browser/social networking driven patterns of behaviour of computer users.

stop Trolling Apple fanboi! people like you get virus on Windows, people with brain never get any virus on windows.

stop trolling about windows here.

Stay on topic please

how it can compete with Windows? ( im saying from " its cloud based OS " point ).

Offline OS > Cloud OS

Chrome OS in not offline OS like Windows or OSX, so it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX

simrat said,
how it can compete with Windows? ( im saying from " its cloud based OS " point ).

Offline OS > Cloud OS

Chrome OS in not offline OS like Windows or OSX, so it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX

I disagree. Sure, for things like photo and video editing you might think that a cloud based solution would be a bad idea, but think about it... The program itself would be running on a very powerful server somewhere so you'd get the benefit of their processing power on your netbook or even your phone. All you need is a decent enough network connection to stream video and send commands back and forth.

I don't think the world is fully ready for it yet - Internet connectivity can still be a huge problem - but it's the future, that much is certain.

Nick Brunt said,

I disagree. Sure, for things like photo and video editing you might think that a cloud based solution would be a bad idea, but think about it... The program itself would be running on a very powerful server somewhere so you'd get the benefit of their processing power on your netbook or even your phone. All you need is a decent enough network connection to stream video and send commands back and forth.

I don't think the world is fully ready for it yet - Internet connectivity can still be a huge problem - but it's the future, that much is certain.

I think this along with other solutions from Google, Microsoft and others are the future but that's it, it's the future. We don't have the connectivity needed for it to be a viable solution right now. I still don't see how half the stuff being released can work reliably and the way expected right now. Our speeds are way too slow and with caps, no one is going to want to adopt it. I won't use something that requires the web 100% of the time because of both the cap issue and I do use my computer offline. I can see this being a good secondary device or mobile around the house or on the road for when you don't want to sit at the computer to do the majority of the real workload. Web based work would actually benefit from it because you can work from a comfortable spot and productivity would go up because of that little extra bit of not having to wait for boot and open a browser, etc... Not a replacement but a supplement.

simrat said,
how it can compete with Windows? ( im saying from " its cloud based OS " point ).

Offline OS > Cloud OS

Chrome OS in not offline OS like Windows or OSX, so it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX


Well, Google will probably license this OS to OEM's building Google Chrome OS devices for a fraction of what MS demands for Windows, since this OS isn't even close in terms of complexity.

Google Chrome OS will also need very few security patches, since there's nothing on the machine that can get infected. IIRC, the machines are intended to preserve almost no states between system reboots, so there's nothing for malware to cling on to, so to speak. It'll just have the traditional cookie and HTML 5 session store, as far as I know, since everything run in the browser. So I assume that's how it'll store e.g. user logins across reboots.

Hmm, all this seem to be a support dream. I think it could go a long way of serving my parents needs (they just browse the web and use Spotify anyway, besides storing photos, but this can be done online of course). Imagine a computer they simply can't "mess up" since there's nothing to mess with.

simrat said,
how it can compete with Windows? ( im saying from " its cloud based OS " point ).

Offline OS > Cloud OS

Chrome OS in not offline OS like Windows or OSX, so it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX

I think this is the main assumption in the comments. Google Chrome most likely would be able to go Offline (is is cloud FOCUSED, not reliant). If you check the Wikipedia page, it talks about an offline Media Player. Also, there is a good chance that Docs and Gmail will be available offline. Secondly, having an internet connection is pretty easy, especially if the notebooks are integrated with 3G receivers. (For me, internet is as assessable as anything else.) Also, it is well known that Google Chrome will allow you to boot into Windows. So if you need a light 7-second boot to check your email, it's as simple as it can be.

simrat said,
how it can compete with Windows? ( im saying from " its cloud based OS " point ).

Offline OS > Cloud OS

Chrome OS in not offline OS like Windows or OSX, so it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX

Read about Google Gears
Cloud OS can be used Offline with sync while offline

Nick Brunt said,

I disagree. Sure, for things like photo and video editing you might think that a cloud based solution would be a bad idea, but think about it... The program itself would be running on a very powerful server somewhere so you'd get the benefit of their processing power on your netbook or even your phone. All you need is a decent enough network connection to stream video and send commands back and forth.

I don't think the world is fully ready for it yet - Internet connectivity can still be a huge problem - but it's the future, that much is certain.

Internet is the main problem, only few countries have fast internet connections, ONLY FEW, what about other countries? sure video and image editing software will run on powerful servers but how can people use them if they dont have fast internet connection?? cloud OS can run offline but not every person have Internet access....Cloud OS have future but i dont see it as a replacement of Desktop OS ( offline OS ).

What if there is something wrong gone with internet connection, how can you do your work if you are using only Online applications, what if my internet is not working and i want to view my images or watch movies which are on cloud. it has future but its not replacement...

simrat said,

it is not even comparable to Windows or OSX

I think that's the whole point. It's a completely different approach to computing. It's secure unlike virus/malware/rootkit laden Windows operating systems. Peace of mind goes a long way for most people. They want to beable to do their online banking without the worries of keyloggers and such nasties stealing their identities/accounts. In addition, because the UI is basically a browser, it's extremely familiar and easy to use.

Of course this isn't designed to be a full desktop OS replacement for Ubuntu, OSX, or Windows, but for smaller more portable devices such as smartbooks and netbooks, where start-up speed, efficiency, general performance, and price are paramount. Windows just doesn't cut it in those areas. Because of the aforementioned advantages, I predict Chrome OS will be a raging success.

Flawed said,

I think that's the whole point. It's a completely different approach to computing. It's secure unlike virus/malware/rootkit laden Windows operating systems. Peace of mind goes a long way for most people. They want to beable to do their online banking without the worries of keyloggers and such nasties stealing their identities/accounts. In addition, because the UI is basically a browser, it's extremely familiar and easy to use.

Of course this isn't designed to be a full desktop OS replacement for Ubuntu, OSX, or Windows, but for smaller more portable devices such as smartbooks and netbooks, where start-up speed, efficiency, general performance, and price are paramount. Windows just doesn't cut it in those areas. Because of the aforementioned advantages, I predict Chrome OS will be a raging success.

first time an Apple Fanboy makes sense!

/Sarcasm