The rumors have always pointed towards Google releasing an Operating System but we just never really took it seriously. We figured Android is a desktop-class OS and many netbook manufacturers have taken a liking to it, so Google needn't bring another OS into the market. Oh how wrong we were.
The Google Chrome OS, an open source platform (yay), is designed for x86 and ARM based netbooks, laptops, and desktop computers. Google says that the OS is going to be lightweight, enabling quick and easy access to the web and that it'll be virus free, for the underlying security architecture is completely new. We'll let Google describe the rest:
The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies
So what does this spell for Android? Android was an OS built for smartphones but undoubtedly had netbooks and MIDs in mind when being developed. The Google Chrome OS extends from the top end of desktop PC's to the low end of netbooks as well. There's obvious overlap and Google is acting pretty cryptic when it says:
While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.
So we guess, only time will tell how Android and Google Chrome OS will co-exist and which one becomes preference on netbooks and other netbook-type devices. Our prediction? We're expecting Google Chrome OS to be hugely successful on netbooks while Android becomes the de-facto standard for touch based OS's.
What do you guys think about Google Chrome OS? What do you think this means for Android?
[official google blog]