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]


Reader comments

Google Announces Google Chrome OS for PCs


Gotta wait and see. Don't even know what the interface looks like yet.

I think the real question isn't what it means to Android but what does it mean for Microsoft? I've personally been waiting for a viable reason to get Windows off my laptop. And if the cost is typical Google competitive (read: FREE) then I'd definitely create a partition to play around with it.

Hmm, I'm skeptical. While I support Android 100%, Chrome OS sounds like another bare linux platform running a browser on top. It's not too distant from a minimum Ubuntu loaded with Firefox or Chrome browser and saying no need to install apps, just run them over the web.

If its just another Linux distro. I'm not interested. Unless you're a Microsoft "hater" there just isn't a very compelling reason to use Linux over Windows. Then its like if you don't like Microsoft or Windows why not just get a Mac....unless their cost is a problem for you.

I agree with your thoughts. Android will be more tablet based OS.
Chrome will be your standard netbook/laptop/desktop fare.

I preferably would love to keep my Android on my phone.
This Chrome OS seems to be more "Google" it just seems a more natural fit for the desktop/laptop format.

If this is just another Linux distro, I don't see what would be so Google-ish about it (like they'd deliver an OS that forces you to download multimedia codecs from a "metapackage", Ubuntu style!) This system, although probably desktop-compatible, is being made primarily for netbooks (Sources: & TUAW), so I imagine that they'd be creating all new software made specifically for that kind of platform, instead of relying on GNU/Linux stuff.

That Google would go after this new business surprises only those that don't understand Google. Industrial-era thinkers believe you should "stick to your focus". Like GM. But Google knows that in an information economy if you don't keep moving into new markets with new technologies looking for more revenues you won't survive. Read more at

It seems likely that Chrome OS would be a good replacement for the instant-on Linux tech that is being used on various Windows machines for instant web browsing email etc.

Also it should be possible for them to able to run Android apps just like Ubuntu is going to able to do.