updated 02:20 pm EST, Thu November 19, 2009
Coverage of Google desktop OS unveiling
Google provided its first public details of Chrome OS at a special event today. Electronista supplied coverage of the just-ended even; all updates are listed in reverse chronological order. Among the news unveiled are the first public view of the OS, that there will be no beta today and that the platform is being open-sourced early as Chromium OS a year ahead of its planned late 2010 release.
2:21PM: Real-time notification is important: will use W3C's notification API for things like IM chat. Web platform should be ideal for multi-computer homes as it makes things easier to manage. Event ends.
2:18PM: Sergey Brin on stage. Apps won't need signatures, only the core OS. No multi-boot or separate "instant on" OS (Chrome OS is the instant-on OS). Will try to make important devices work, but cameras and similar will work as mass storage devices (as demoed earlier).
2:10PM: As of today, no Android apps will run in Chrome OS since all apps are web apps. ARM and x86 will be supported [ed: x86 likely first priority given the partners]. Stresses that the OS will be free. No plans to put in ads besides the regular OS.
2:02PM: Other browsers can run, but it will have to be through an open-source modification of the OS itself since Chrome is the main browser. Hardware won't be detailed until around the middle of next year, but the focus is on netbooks for 2010.
1:57PM: Google assumes this will be a secondary system meant to get on the web easily. No problem if users don't think it'll be right for them; not intended for everyone. Every codec supported in Chrome browser will work with Chrome OS, but more should be added for the OS. Hardware acceleration will happen whenever possible.
1:54PM: Q&A: Not sure what prices for netbooks will be; too early to tell. No price target, though. Demo system was an off-the-shelf Eee PC. Computer makers aren't being given a pre-set development guideline, but documentation will exist to show them what to do. W3C, Khronos Group (OpenGL, etc.) being talked to as part of ensuring Chrome OS meets standards.
1:47PM: Showing a promo video explaining Chrome OS: emphasizing the importance of getting on the Internet first and of having all features in the cloud, not local.
1:43PM: Google is talking with OEMs to narrow down reference hardware: again, flash-only storage, only certain wireless cards, and so on. The key is to have an OS genuinely aware of hardware. Wants slightly larger notebooks with full keyboards and trackpads.
1:38PM: System can reboot and re-download the latest clean version of Chrome OS if it detects a modified kernel. Web apps are more secure by virtue of Chrome's existing sandboxing, but expanded: root file system is read-only, data is encrypted. OS is always auto-updated.
1:33PM: Google insists on flash-based storage and skips a lot of the things that aren't needed, like looking for a floppy drive; no bootloader. Browser auto-loads as a matter of course. Booting is verified with signatures to prevent malware attacks affecting the startup process.
1:30PM: Microsoft's Office.com works, as do any websites. File browsing also works in the browser and pops up a panel for external storage, like an SD card or a hard drive. You can play local audio/photo/video from the browser.
1:25PM: 7 second boot time; OS looks exactly like Chrome OS with tabs representing apps. You can pin apps so they don't change. An app menu is always available. There are panels that appear that won't be hidden by apps, such as for Google Talk, music streaming or Notepad, but which can be minimized. Full-screen mode, Flash supported.
1:17PM: Chrome OS to emphasize speed, simplicity, security, like the browser. Should boot very quickly, with every app as a web app, and should limit the risk of the system. Browser security model.
1:14PM: Perfect convergence: notebooks shrinking to notebooks, phones getting computer-level hardware and upsizing to tablets. Complex websites (Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs) make web apps more realistic.
1:11PM: Want web apps to have access to the GPU (graphics), multi-core processing, webcams/mics, native input. Want complex web apps with the features of the desktop.
1:09PM: Google is open-sourcing Chrome OS. Users will be able to take, modify code. Mac and Linux versions of Chrome the browser are coming soon (previous reports said December). No Chrome OS beta today.