Google reveals new Chrome operating system
The Google operating system will be a free and open source system, initially aimed at low-cost netbooks. Being open source, it allows contributors to help develop the product and it intends to remove many of the features of a traditional program. Most notably, all applications are designed to run in a web browser and all the user's data is stored on Google's servers, so that effectively most PC or laptop users will be working 'in the cloud' with limited software or content held on their own hardware.
Google has said that the first computers running the system would be available before the end of 2010 and had first announced its intention to build an operating system in July this year. The new system has been designed around the Google Chrome browser which was released in 2008 and now is reported to have 40m regular users. All programs or applications - such as word processing and e-mail - will run in different tabs in the browser and the aim is to improve the speed of work, although much of this will also be dependent on access to the Internet.
Any documents and files created on a computer would be automatically synced and saved on Google's servers. As a result, anybody who lost their computer would be able to buy a new machine and easily recover all their data. However, although Google expects most tasks to be done online, it will also offer the capability for users to access some programs when there is no connection.