By Craig Buckler

Google Launch Chrome OS (Next Year)

By Craig Buckler

Chromium OSYou’ve got to love Google’s marketing machine. Despite having little new to say about Chrome OS, the media has been eagerly reporting this week’s “launch”. You can’t open a newspaper without reading something from an excited journalist who’s obviously confused by the difference between an OS and a browser.If, like me, you were expecting to download a fully bootable ISO, you’re going to be disappointed. The launch consists of:

  1. A name change from “Chrome OS” to “Chromium OS”.
  2. A new website containing information for UI designers and developers.
  3. An early version of the source code.

Google has stated that the OS is a full 12-months away from release. The source code is not a beta or even a pre-alpha. It’s possible to create a build but few people will bother: you need Linux, various developer packages, and a lot of patience.Screenshots and videos are available, but they’re mostly conceptual line drawings rather than actual footage of real-world use. This video is one of the more informative:

So have we discovered anything that we didn’t know before?

  • It’s a pure browser-based OS. It’s essentially the Google Chrome browser with additional pop-up management. Even simple applications such as the calculator appear to be web-based rather than an OS executable.
  • The left-most tab shows the Chrome menu which links to standard applications like GMail or panels.
  • Small panels can be opened which overlay the main window or can be docked at the side of the screen.

The OS is mostly what I expected, but I’d really hoped to be booting a virtual machine today. It’s great that Google has released the code and is asking for developer contributions, but whipping up frenzied media excitement wasn’t the best move. I can’t help feeling a little underwhelmed.Have you built or tried Chromium OS?

  • Stuart Elmore

    Just FYI:
    Video breaks the layout on this page in FF 3 :(
    possibly the advert’s fault??

    Also, isn’t Chromium the open source version, whereas Google Chrome OS is the official (closed source) OS?

  • just_passing_by

    yeah, and it’s probably – most probably – phoning home all the time… Just like their browser. What’s next.

  • Nick van Beers

    I am really looking forward to this version, sorry that he is fit next year

  • NetNerd85

    still dont know why they have not been sued for using the pokemon ball as their logo…

  • Video breaks the layout on this page in FF 3 :(

    Same in Opera & Safari on a Mac.

    By the way, has anyone ever mentioned that the comment form buttons don’t appear in Safari on a Mac?

  • I’m kind of bitter about Chromium OS, and Google’s decision to create an OS rather than support a real distro like Ubuntu is a slap in the face to Ubuntu and other worthwhile distros. Also, the video makes the OS look very featureless (kind of like Chrome). Am I missing something? Would you use this OS as described?

  • mi6crazyheart

    I’m also excited about this OS & Ya, also agree it’s Google marketing strategy to keep the BUZZ of Chrome OS till it’ll not make the final release. One more thing why i’m so excited about this OS , because ….. It’s from Google. Right now we’ve generally 3 OS(Windows,Mac OS X,Ubuntu) whihc are used by the most of the peoples. But, from these Windows OS share is more than i think 90% & because of this many times Microsoft show monopoly type behavior to the users. That’s why , now we really now need a OS which can break this Monopoly rule of Microsoft and i think now Google is the only one who can do this because of their excellent code base, excellent market strategy and superb commitment to give great fine product with superb quality.

  • Niranjan

    please please please. check this site on firefox. the embedded video overlaps the text below it, when an add starts loading above the video.

  • Thanks to everyone reporting video overlay problems. It appeared to affect several browsers, but only when you viewed it at certain window dimensions. I think it’s fixed, but please let me know if your browser is still affected.

  • the.peregrine

    A browser-based OS, eh? So I will install that browser on — oh, of course — another OS!

    You know what we need? We need an operating system that runs within Google Chrome within the still-buggy Chromium OS, and that running inside another browser running on another OS. And so on, ad infinitum. This way we get the full advantage of all the bugs that exist in each! BRILLIANT!

    It isn’t so hard to make things more complicated with more features. The challenge of good programming is to make things simpler, more reliable. Before they waste another moment of valuable time, Google should put their OS on the archive shelf with Microsoft Bob.

  • I am looking forward to Chromium OS. Making it open source makes it more valuable!

  • My220x

    I really can’t wait for the Chromium OS as I have a netbook and really only use it for the internet so anything which can make it run fast is great!

  • Well… Another article with assertions about something Google related and a flurry of replies with claims of support or opposition of said technology. The only thing we’re missing is some facts checking.

    So besides me, has anyone else downloaded the Chrome OS from Gdgt ( and run it in VMWare?

  • My220x: You might be happy with the Chrome OS. It’s limited at the moment as this is an early development release (not even beta) but it looks very much like an OS suited or designed for netbooks.

    I couldn’t even find a terminal window in it and the applications palette has a “get more applications” link but it is not active yet. That said, it looks like it could be interesting.

    Also: Chromium appears to be the name Google’s given the dev builds and it looks like it will still be called Chrome OS when it’s released.

  • Chrome

    I think it’s just the projects name Chromium OS, the OS is still to be called Google Chrome OS. The has been online for a while already, I’ve used it previously. For example, here is an entry written back in September 2008 that mentions Chromium open source project that powers both Chrome browser and OS.

    Anyway, good news!

  • jakab

    I am eagerly waiting for the google chrome and I hope all too.

  • I’m excited about the idea of Google releasing a OS. They know what they’re doing and I hope it’s a huge success. From the press that’s out now, I have to say it’s looking good.

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