Google officially unveiled its new Chrome OS on Tuesday, and said the new operating system would be available on laptops from Samsung and Acer.
The Linux-based, open source operating system will be available on a trial basis for users who register online. Test notebooks will be given to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses in the U.S. to begin with, Google said on its official blog. Chrome notebooks are now expected to be available in the first half of 2011.
Chrome notebooks are designed for people who spend most of their time on the internet, making the OS a one-stop shop for all bookmarks, apps and browsers. The OS takes a minimalistic approach, like Google's browser.
Google claims that the notebooks run on Chrome OS will boot in a matter of seconds, as opposed to most current laptops that take at least a couple of minutes.
The Chrome OS will take a fraction of the space of Windows 7. Windows 7 currenty requires about 16GB of free disk space, with a minimum of 1 GB RAM. However, Google's OS is not designed for a primary PC and is more suitable to netbooks in its current form. The netbooks will always be connected to the internet and most of the data is stored in the 'cloud.'
Google also assures that this internet-run OS model is completely safe.
And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure, Google said on its blog.
Windows has long fought issues related to malware and hackers, which enter the system through security holes in the OS. If Google's statement holds true, it would make the system popular with many who are looking for an alternative and are not particularly keen on Apple's operating systems.
The internet-based model will appeal to most users who like to interface most of their data and have it accessible at any point.
Google also plans to launch its own brand of Chrome OS-enabled laptops in the future. However, most users are awaiting the verdict from the trial users. Google's previous attempt at entering the gadget market with its cellphone -- the Nexus -- was not particularly successful.
Google created its own website to purchase the phone, cutting out the dealer and the carriers. Nexus also ran on Google's Android, which had many glitches. Even so, the Android app store caught on with phones by other manufacturers that ran on the OS.
Google is also launching the Samsung-built Nexus S, which is the first device to run on Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread. The phone is expected to be released later this month in the U.S. and the U.K.