Google Nov. 19 made developers happy by releasing Chrome Operating System to open source.
Chrome OS is a Web operating system intended as an alternative to Microsoft Windows, allowing users to run Web apps much more quickly. Google intends to use Chrome OS to power netbooks, those light, speedy machine, from several providers.
"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."
Google officials, including Papakipos and Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, announced the news at an event at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
However, Pichai noted that Chrome OS is still more than a year away from appearing in netbooks. Papakipos explained in a blog post:
"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. 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."
And for the lay user who has no idea what Chrome OS is all about, Google has a top-level view of what the Web operating system is all about here:
During the event, Pichai showed what the Chrome OS application panel looks like:
From there, users will be able to quickly navigate their favorite Web apps, ideally with less latency than on a PC or Mac. Here is a Google Talk chat panel running on Chrome:
That's the gist of the news. I will have more on the actual event in a story for eWEEK later this afternoon.
Update: And here's the full story.