Wednesday, July 08, 2009

google os based on chrome

NY Times has (

SAN FRANCISCO — In a direct challenge to Microsoft, Google announced late Tuesday that it is developing an operating system for PCs that is tied to its Chrome Web browser.

The software, called the GoogleChrome Operating System, is initially intended for use in the tiny, low-cost portable computers known as netbooks, which have been selling quickly even as demand for other PCs has plummeted. Google said it believed the software would also be able to power full-size PCs.

Which is cool on a number of fronts -- Being an open source system (?) it'll further the general 'biodiversity' of the web as it invites modifications. It'll knock MS hard which is good for all of our imaginations (I'm tired of walking around in a Windows frame of mind, forced to crunch my numbers and words in Windows ways).

But the mainmost possibility here is that a Google OS will really be better for organizing the world's information than a MS OS or a Mac OS is. That could be good for librarians and patrons and knowledge workers etc. etc. depending on the particulars of how it falls out. Somehow that an easier integrated e-book search tool for example might become as workaday and common as the Microsoft Paint application -- this is the kind of shift we might be looking at. Operating systems are powerful cultural devices. They really do start working as metaphors, and if you spend lots of time with a program (hours per day at work for example) you can start thinking in ways that enables you to get along better in the OS (Jaron Lanier's idea orginally I think? []).

So, if nothing else, a new OS is good for the cultural imagination simply because it's something new and different for your head to stare at for 60+ hours per week.

We'll see.


Also: Google's OS is mainly for netbooks, at least at first (?). Wired news --