The lead engineer for Google's Chrome Operating System told Ars Technica the emerging product and its Chrome Web browser sidekick will have a complete media player that approximates the functionality of Windows Media Player. Chrome OS boots up a netbook in a fraction of the time it takes to start today's existing computers. With Google's Chrome Web browser, Chrome OS loads Web applications in just a few more seconds. If Google can complete Chrome OS and get partners Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, to make and sell Chrome OS machines, it will be quite the feat and quite the gauntlet for Microsoft,
The Google Chrome Operating System isn't expected to find
its way onto netbooks until the end of 2010, but it's becoming increasingly
clear that it is aimed at disrupting the entrenched Microsoft Windows operating
The lead Chrome engineer told Ars Technica the emerging
product and its Chrome Web browser sidekick will have a complete media player that
approximates the functionality of Windows Media Player, which Microsoft made
ubiquitous by serving it with Windows.
Chrome OS is an open source Web operating system
is building to run on netbooks as an alternative to computers running
traditional operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac.
Those machines take several seconds or minutes to boot up.
Chrome OS boots up a netbook
in a fraction of the
time. Moreover, paired with Google's Chrome Web
browser, Chrome OS loads Web applications in just a few more seconds. Google
aims to get people online faster to let them access Gmail,
YouTube, Google Voice and other Web services.
The OS will apparently have a full media player running
in Chrome, the nascent browser that recently passed
Apple's Safari in worldwide users
to grab nearly 5 percent of the market.
Matthew Papakipos, engineering director for the Chrome OS
project, told Ars Technica in a lengthy interview
"Another big aspect to what we're doing is we're
integrating a whole media player into Chrome and into Chrome OS... In a
sense what we're doing is integrating the equivalent of Windows Media
into Chrome itself.
For example, you might just have a USB key that has a bunch of MP3s on
it, so you want to be able to plug that in and listen to those MP3s. There
might not be any controlling Web page for that activity, but it's clearly
something you need to be able to do in any reasonable operating system or
browser. So we're doing a lot of work to make Chrome and Chrome OS handle those
use cases really well."
Google has already made it clear it wants Chrome OS to be
the lightweight, speedy platform to get people online quicker and that Chrome
is the launching pad for Web apps, which are alternatives to the locally
downloaded applications Microsoft pairs with its Windows platform today.
the revelation of an integrated, Web-based media player shows just how
completely Google is reimagining the Windows OS as an open source, Web-based
The media player isn't the only area Google is looking to
break free from the traditional desktop computing paradigm. Papakipos also told
the publication it is working on ways enable Chrome OS to handle mailto links
and file types by Web apps.
For example, clicking on a mailto link makes users exit
their browser and into Windows mail, which is not helpful for Gmail users. Ideally,
clicking the mailto link would open pop up a compose window or panel in Chrome
OS "so as not to interrupt your flow in the site that you were on"
Similarly, users who click on a .doc file, may want it to
go to use Gview to preview a document instead of opening Office Live, or store
it on a USB drive.
If Google can pull Chrome OS off and get partners
Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, to make and sell Chrome OS machines, it
will be quite the feat and quite the gauntlet for Microsoft, which has been
fairly unthreatened by Linux platforms such as Red Hat or Ubuntu.