In response to the roll out of Windows 10 on many of Microsoft’s netbooks, Google has upped the ante on their own offering of netbooks (called Chromebooks). In order to compete with the sleek new interface and usability of Windows 10 Google is releasing a new and improved Chrome OS.
Google embraced the concept of an ultra-simple, Web-centric OS in large part due to the huge recent success of netbooks. Netbooks are small laptop computers that are designed to let users access the Web – and not much more. They’re inexpensive and feature-limited hardware and they aren’t built for high-powered applications like Photoshop, for example.
With Chrome, the browser actually is the OS; built on the Google browser of the same name. In Google’s latest press event held August 13th 2015, they showed off new changes made to the Chrome OS for businesses including heavier usage of cloud services and storage. The benefits include better security (a result of less data on the local laptop) and a focus on a streamlined user experience.
Unlike Windows, Chrome won’t be available as a download. It’ll be pre-installed by netbook manufacturers who adhere to Google’s hardware specifications. Chrome is designed to run best on solid-state storage systems as opposed to traditional spinning hard drives. Chrome OS heavily utilizes Google’s suite of web-based applications such as Docs and Sheets which stores the data in the cloud. And because the OS uses web-based applications, you don’t need local storage for software either.
Google says the web-based model will help it develop a better overall OS experience and focus on building an OS with improved speed, security and simplicity. By removing the non-web related functions of a traditional OS, Google indicates these goals should be easier to achieve. Chrome OS is an open-source project (under the name Chromium OS) and as a result, Google garners analysis and feedback from software developers all over the world.
Google doesn’t intend for Chrome OS to be a primary computer’s operating system. Instead, the company sees a Chrome OS netbook as a secondary computer that a user would use once they are done with the heavy-duty applications on a more powerful office or home computer.