Google Launches Chrome OS [LIVE BLOG] via Mashable
Google is holding an event this morning in San Francisco to make some special announcements about the long-awaited Chrome OS.
We’ll be live-blogging the event here and will update this post every couple minutes with new facts about Chrome OS, insights from Google executives and our own experiences hands-on with the OS.
What we have at the outset is a rather limited set of information. Chrome OS has been in the works for quite some time; the company first announced it in June 2009.
One of the more recent insights we’ve been given is that Google’s operating system differs from Android in that it’s intended for traditional, PC-type devices, including netbooks. Android will continue to be Google’s OS for mobile phones and tablets.
Stay tuned for more.
All times are in Pacific Standard Time.
10:30 a.m. Sundar Pichai is Google’s VP, Product Management. A year ago, Google announced the open-source Chrome () project. The company was focused on speed, simplicity and security.
Now, Chrome has 120 million daily users.
10:35 a.m. Brian Rakowski, the director of Product Management, is now showing off different facets of the Chrome browser, especially speed in loading PDFs and other types of problematic content.
10:45 a.m. Pichai is back onstage. Google is announcing Crankshaft, which will speed up the Chrome browser even more. Google is also allowing for browser syncing, including themes and bookmarks.
As far as security goes, Google is going to start sandboxing plugins, as well.
10:55 a.m. Pichai is now talking about the Chrome Web Store, which he says is intended to connect developers — especially small, independent devs — and end users. We’re going to see a Web Store demo now.
The Web Store was announced in May 2010 at Google I/O. Now, Pinchai is showing us NPR and Sports Illustrated apps in the store — and games, too. App buying is simple; purchasing is done through the user’s Google Checkout account.
11:05 a.m. Eva Manolis and David Limp are two Amazon VPs, and they’re talking about two new apps for the Web Store.
Amazon’s new Window Shop is a shopping experience web app for “virtually everything that’s available from Amazon.” Searching, browsing, navigation and the entire product interface is different from the Amazon.com UI.
11:10 a.m. Limp is now showing off Kindle for the Web. The focus is on the book; the browser should disappear, and all the user should see is a great book with great typography.
Kindle for Web will launch in early 2011.
11:15 a.m. Pichai is back, and he’s ready to talk about Chrome OS.
“People live on the browsers, on the web… But the main part of the system has nothing to do with the web. We wanted to rethink the personal computing experience for the web. Chrome OS is nothing but the web… Chrome [the browser] running on hardware directly.”
Setup of a new Chrome netbook should ideally take around 60 seconds. And resuming from standby mode — including getting back online — takes milliseconds, Pichai says.
Another important fact to note is that nothing ties Chrome OS to Google, and, just like using Chrome browser, you don’t need a Google account to use Chrome OS.
11:20 a.m. A Chrome OS computer can also be shared with others; just log in with your own profile, and you’ll have your own sessions, preferences, browsing history, etc. Guest profiles exist, pretty much just like they have on Windows () for a few years.
11:25 a.m. The Chrome OS netbook is a cloud computing device. “Users always have the option to stay connected,” says Pichai.
Every Chrome OS device will ship with data connectivity, both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Google is partnering with Verizon on that part.
Here are the service plan details: Subscribers will get 100MB of free data every month for two years. There will be no contracts and no activation, cancellation or overage fees. If you need to, you can buy a “day pass” only for $10.
11:30 a.m. Chrome OS is serious on security with OS-level sandboxing and data encryption by default. For this reasons (and a handful of others), Pichai says Chrome OS devices are expected to be a hit in the enterprise.
11:35 a.m. Gordon Payne is an SVP at Citrix. He’s demonstrating how Citrix Receiver on Chrome OS works for enterprise employees using enterprise apps, including SAP and Microsoft Excel. “It’s actually a little bit fun,” Payne says. “Imagine that in enterprise applications.”
11:45 a.m. Hardware will be coming from Acer and Samsung with Intel chips. Devices will go on sale globally in mid-2011.
However, the Chrome OS pilot program is launching today. The notebook for this program is called the Cr-48. It’s unbranded with a 12.1-inch display, a full size keyboard, a clickable touchpad and a webcam. There’s no hard drive, no spinning disk. Jailbreaking is built in.
A slew of businesses will be in the pilot program, including Virgin America, American Airlines, Kraft Foods, Logitech and a Department of Defense research organization.
For a few lucky consumers, there will be an offer in the Chrome browser to be part of the pilot program. Those who choose to participate will be sent a Chrome OS machine. Google also recently ran a Facebook () promotion for Chrome stickers; the winners of those stickers will get the stickers… on a Chrome OS notebook.
And yes, everyone here at the press event is getting a Chrome device, too.
If you want to be part of the pilot program, too, go to Google’s application.
11:55 a.m. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is now on stage giving a big-picture talk about Moore’s law and the LAMP stack. “It took us all of this work to get to this point where a modern browser could emerge in the form of Chrome.”
He thinks of Chrome as the first viable competitor to Windows and Mac. Linux () fans, you are encouraged to grumble at this juncture.
12:05 p.m. It’s Q&A time with Pichai, Rakowski, VP Engineering Linus Upson and Director of Product Management Caesar Sengupta.
Of course, the first thing we all want to know is how much these notebooks will cost. Google is playing coy on that point, just as it did with its last big hardware launch, Google TV. Partners will announce pricing soon.
12:20 p.m. Someone asked something we’ve been wondering: Why use the New York Times web app rather than NYTimes.com? Pichai answers that app ecosystems are about discovery and monetization. Also, experiences can be packaged in an app in different, more holistic ways.
12:25 p.m. The Linux Gazette asks if hackers can repurpose the local hardware. Google answers that developers can do anything they want with the hardware. Google’s hardware switch can be used by Google to verify that all the software is all correct, but developers can use it to have total freedom to hack away on the devices.
12:30 p.m. So, when will we get browser history and open-tabs syncing, like Firefox has had for ages? Those features are a hazy part of Chrome’s future, but there’s nothing to announce today.
It’s over! Thanks for reading along; we’re going to go take pictures and hassle important people now. We’ll be blogging more about Chrome OS as we get more information, and a hands-on post with video of a Cr-48 will be on the way as soon as Google ships our notebook.
Entry filed under: Mobile Tech & Trends, Web News & Trends. Tags: advertising, amazon, android, Apple, chrome, chrome os, chrome web store, digital, eric schmidt, firefox, google, google blog, google news, google tv, internet, iphone, kindle, linux, live blog, mac, mashable, microsoft, tech, web, windows.