Google rolls out Chrome OS source code

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Google has released the source code of its long-awaited Chrome OS. According to the Mountain View-based company, the alternative operating system is optimized for people who spend "most of their time" on the web.

"Today we are open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS. We are doing this early, a year before Google Chrome OS will be ready for users, because we are eager to engage with partners, the open source community and developers," Google spokesperson Caesar Sengupta wrote in an official blog post. "As with the Google Chrome browser, development will be done in the open from this point on. This means the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions."

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Sengupta explained that Chrome OS offered users a "fundamentally different" model of computing.

"First, it's all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs," said Sengupta. "Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn't trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer."

He added that the Chrome OS "barely" trusted itself.

"Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If your system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot. While no computer can be made completely secure, we're going to make life much harder (and less profitable) for the bad guys."

Sengupta also emphasized that Google was "obsessed" with speed and had removed "every unnecessary process" in the new OS.

?"We are optimizing many operations and running everything possible in parallel. This means you can go from turning on the computer to surfing the web in a few seconds. Our obsession with speed goes all the way down to the metal. We are specifying reference hardware components to create the fastest experience for Google Chrome OS."

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