Google Launch Chrome OS (Next Year)

    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?