Google has announced that it will be launching a new operating system, Chrome OS by next year and it will be based on its popular Chrome browser.
It is quite interesting that Google may be planning to tie the OS so closely with browser that they look like Siamese brothers, especially in comparison to Windows & Internet Explorer Circa 1998 (which gave rise to the Antitrust case that was ultimately thrown out.
Anyway, here are five reasons why we love Google Chrome OS despite the fact that it might all end up in a nasty legal fight.
(1) It will be free
Google Chrome OS will be free, free in financial terms and free as in open source. Microsoft has had a history of conflict with everything that is free.
Firefox is giving it a headache, Linux has been a thorn (some would say a cancer) in its side and OpenOffice.org has been a rather staunch rival to Microsoft Office. Bottom like for the big OEMs like Asus and MSI, they won't need to buy licenses.
(2) It runs on ARM
Unlike Microsoft Windows, Chrome OS will be running on ARM (as well as x86). This means that it will be compatible with Smartbooks and will bring life to a whole new category of ultra light laptops that may make netbooks become obsolete overnight.
ARM-based laptops will be fast, very power efficient, cooler to run, be able to last for days on a single charge and integrate tons of features.
(3) It will be more secure
Details are still sketchy but it looks as if Google will make sure that the OS is far more secure than everything Windows is running.
For a start, Google has a blank canvas to work with and doesn't need to rely on code that is 15 years old, nor does it have to deal with software compatibility issue. Furthermore, because of the various elements of the browser like sandboxing (opens in new tab), Google is at least on paper intrinsically safer than traditional operating systems.
(4) It is resource light
Chrome OS will be devised from scratch to be a lightweight, low-on-resource operating system. Google's browser itself is built on Webkit, the open source rendering engine that is also part of Safari.
Because it is light, it won't require as much horsepower to run. This means that it could potentially merge with Android one day and be present on everything from your Satellite box to your desktop computer. Google may also one day offer it as a standalone, installable application.
(5) Build around the web from start
Chrome OS will be build like a web application from the start. What does that mean? It will need to be connected for most tasks. We expect it to come with a browser and nothing else (Google did say that the user interface will remain minimal).
Then there's the fact that you can expect the OS to update itself regularly. In comparison Windows updates itself every month with a massive service pack every two years.