Introducing the Google Chrome OS

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Wed, 08 Jul 2009 11:28:05 GMT  <== Computers ==> 

Sundar Pichai at Google - Google is getting into the operating systems business, building a lean, mean, browsing machine. I'll definitely give it a try in a VM ASAP. Might even buy a netbook with it. [everybody]

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Add comment Edit post Add post

Comments (6):

Finally... I had started thinking they never would.

Submitted by Arto Bendiken on Thu, 09 Jul 2009 07:30:48 GMT

One would have thought they'd have rolled out their own browser & post-PC operating system already half a decade ago; certainly the rumors never stopped. Oh well, Google moves in mysterious ways.

Now, I'm just still waiting for Google Chrome for the Mac...

Edit comment

Trubanc for JS

Submitted by Arto Bendiken on Thu, 09 Jul 2009 07:35:33 GMT

Have you considered a pure-JavaScript client for Trubanc yet?

Edit comment

re: Trubanc for JS

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 09 Jul 2009 08:55:29 GMT

The thought has crossed my mind. There are pure-JS crypto libraries out there, but they're slow. Exactly how slow at signatures and verification I haven't tested. I wish JS had a full-featured interface to the OpenSSL library, but it doesn't appear to.

The bigger problem is the database. Client-side Javascript doesn't have access to the local file system. HTML 5's database feature might work, but I don't know enough about it to say for sure.

A real random number generator could also be a problem.

Edit comment

Looking forward

Submitted by Arto Bendiken on Fri, 10 Jul 2009 07:46:47 GMT

If you plan ahead a few years, I wouldn't worry overly much about performance. Browsers have been receiving, and will still be receiving, stupendous performance upgrades to their JS engines, what with SquirrelFish/Nitro for Safari, Mozilla TraceMonkey, and V8 for Google Chrome. Already, Firefox 3.5, Safari 4.0 and Chrome run circles around earlier browsers, and there's more goodness still to come. JavaScript in these new browsers is already faster than most scripting languages (such as Ruby & Python) on the desktop, and will certainly eventually approach or surpass the JVM.

Also, the offline storage in modern browsers is quite cool, actually. It would definitely do for these purposes. With the just-released Safari 4, it's now available in that browser, too (default storage limit 5 MB per site). No idea if MSIE supports any of these capabilities yet, but who cares, really - *the* platform is Firefox, Safari and Chrome :-)

Edit comment

Crypto tools for JavaScript

Submitted by Arto Bendiken on Fri, 10 Jul 2009 07:52:56 GMT

You may be interested in checking out this bunch of encryption-related stuff for JavaScript at:

Among other things, there's code for SHA-1, RSA & AES encryption/decryption, OpenPGP message encoding/decoding, and entropy collection from mouse movements.

Edit comment

Thanks, Arto

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 10 Jul 2009 10:57:36 GMT

Thanks, Arto. You're probably right that by the time I get to a JavaScript implementation, machines and JavaScript implementations will be plenty fast enough. But I'll probably build native iPhone and Android clients before I do one in JavaScript.

Edit comment