Google Chrome OS: The Web is the new “operating system”

Following in the footsteps of Palm's WebOS (and partially the old Opera Platform (now replaced by widgets)), Google has announced the Google Chrome Operating System, which is initially aimed at netbooks, and which is basically a browser as the operating system running on top of Linux. …

Fears of too much personal data being at Google's disposal aside, this is definitely yet another step towards making traditional operating systems like Windows and Mac OS obsolete. Now, there will always be a place for local, native applications, but the trend is undeniable: More and more is being done online and over the Web.

This happens to be what Opera has been talking about for many years. There is hardly an interview with our CEO without him mentioning how Web applications are replacing traditional applications.

It should be noted that not everyone is convinced that Google is being entirely serious about this and rather using it as a kind of "decoy", but I think this is simply where we are headed.

And while Chrome OS is tied to specific platforms, Opera runs on more platforms than any other browser, which means that you won't have to be tied to any specific operating system vendor to deploy your applications across different platforms.

The way things are going must definitely be a major concern for Microsoft. At some point, non-PC devices will have more users online than the traditional Personal Computer, and that benefits everyone else. Microsoft is really struggling to gain a foothold outside the PC market.

Other browser vendors than Microsoft are now controlling what will be the main development platform of the future, and Opera is right there in the middle of it all.

The future is looking bright.

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16 thoughts on “Google Chrome OS: The Web is the new “operating system”

  1. Originally posted by haavard:

    And while Chrome OS is tied to specific platforms, Opera runs on more platforms than any other browser, which means that you won't have to be tied to any specific operating system vendor to deploy your applications across different platforms.

    erm… G Chrome OS IS the platform.

  2. I think google saw chrome as an OS from the start (didn't they mention something like that when chrome came out?)I'll just keep my xp and my ubuntu, because of 2 reasons:Google already knows enough about me, through gmailI'm happy with my ubuntu. So why switch?

  3. I'm still having a hard time visualizing Chrome as an operating system. I wonder if there's any room in the market for another trully native operating system though. :sherlock:.But what confuses me is that they already pushing android in the mobile device market. So why are they trying to introduce a competitor to their own product? :confused:.

  4. If it's a lightweight, minimalist OS, I will give it a shot, but whether I'll actually like it, it's hard to say.

  5. It will be a long, long time before everything we do is really online. I still have those discs lying around (CDs, DVDs), I plug in my camera to get access to the pictures I've taken, and only then maybe upload a few. Should I plug my printer and scanner into the cloud? Attach a monitor to the cloud? Completely stop storing documents locally? Those are features that are handled (more or less competently) by operating systems.Somewhere else I read the interesting obversation that the second generation iPhone became much more interesting because applications could be written for it directly. With the first gen iPhone, Jobs told developers 'just write web apps'.

  6. Rijk, I hope we don't stop storing locally. That would be disastrous in case we lose the connection (and who can reasonably guarantee we never lose the connection?). And with more and more storage space available, even to the "average man", I wonder whether giving up local storage will ever be necessary.

  7. There were rumors about Google building their Gnu/Linux distribution few years ago, even before announcing Android publicly. now it is coming true, yet unclear if it will use Gnu userland utilities or not, but most probably it will not have much things in common with traditional Gnu/Linux desktops.Now i find them presenting two controversies:1- till today, they didn't release a Linux build for Chrome, yet they declare a whole system depending on both!2- like you haavard said, Chrome OS is tied to specific platform, but i don't mean only the hardware, but both the hardware and operating system, ironically that contradict what they declared firstly about Chrome browser as it supposed (in the unknown future) to run on any platform despite its OS, and that's exactly what make their browser substitute it. once they thought all web browsers (including their ex-spoiled one) don't run (their) web applications as they want, later they found that the market's OSs don't fit their concept of a an OS, what's next ? will they intend to producing their own hardware ? (acquire a medium scale HW company ?), and back to the main concern, they don't yet produce their users (:D) but if those users would trust google and upload all their data to their network, i guess google will not be compelled to respect their privacy, does it do now ?

  8. Anonim writes:there are too many specialized needs around for a web-based system to handle.and aside from casual 'wasting time in front of a screen' there is also work, hobbies, interests, research – all of these are and will be done with normal computers.and I'm not entirely sure that opera follows the same path as google with their OS. opera' vision requires people to do only basic and simple stuff (widgets are.. useless mostly, unite services.. as for now are security nightmare that noone is going to explore seriously). and opera isnt exactly known for letting people contribute (no extension API, deliberately killing userJS etc.) so there is not much chance of community response (outside usual fanboi crowd), low popularity, no apps – exactly where opera is today with its browser.it is a feat to have an engine that works everywhere (btw – port it to android then) but I'm not entirely sure that this and what google is doing is even similar.

  9. Anonim, i may agree with some points of yours, but unfortunately, i failed to find the connection between them and the topic.you can share your critiques to Opera in the forum, you will find some of us, (fanboi crowd), are up to constructive discussions where you will be welcome to participate.for the Opera for Android (which is on-topic indeed), i think they may found Android out of desktop specification, mainly due to its api. but as a simpler platform, opera mini can fit.

  10. Remember Google is a gigantic company with tons of cash. They can start their ''new OS'' as a hobby project, just like a toy for executives.The real deal for mobile devices, not 'netbook' fashion which doesn't impress me will be the open source Symbian. While it will be good, amazingly low power use, stableness and security at top… Sad to say, even Symbian won't race with Windows or OS X on anything having x86 CPU. Intel and AMD are not stupid, they know their Atom-like CPUs can be easily replaced with ARM at this stage so they must be working on some ''real stuff'' can scale down to 10' netbook or even less. If I had a x86 netbook, my choice would be XP (or 7) and Opera 10 combined and nothing else. I really cant mess with some kernel etc. issues on a tiny screen with keyboard.Needless to say, Google confuses itself with companies with huge consumer trust like Opera, Apple and Mozilla. This OS, even if it accidentally leaks a single private info to Google or worse, some govt. agency… It will be a gigantic PR disaster which will instantly make into books.

  11. Anonymous writes:"opera' vision requires people to do only basic and simple stuff"No it doesn't. Is Gmail basic and simple? Opera is a web browser. It browses web pages. Opera's vision means browsing web sites with any browser. Opera's vision means using the browser for services, whether in the form of widgets or websites.You are clearly an ignorant liar."unite services.. as for now are security nightmare"BS. Pure ignorant FUD."opera isnt exactly known for letting people contribute"BS again. Skins, setups, widgets, Unite services, etc. Opera has a long history of "letting people contribute".

  12. I appreciate technological advancements, but in the case of web OS's (ie. online computing), NO thanks! This is not progress. I already avoid ALL Google (and other such mega-conglomerate's) services, except its search engine.Opera is a main App for me and I really love it, but if it adopts this particular trend, I will be forced to stop using it. I will gladly abandon computers altogether if I am forced to conform to this subversive technological paradigm (so-called 'progress').my reasons:- control – I want to have full control of my apps & program processes (my computer as a whole)- independence – I don't want to have to require an internet connection just to read or write a document- privacy – I detest any company (or government) looking over my shoulder & peering into my computer work, however insignificant it may be

  13. Very sorry but I had a "durrHURR!" moment when I accidentally found this. Would be very funny if some private user tried to hack a version of linux opera into Chrome-OS.After all, Opera is the Unix/Linux equivalent in browsing. Runs on lot of stuff, with a fairly uniform experience.

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