The original news from Google that it was producing its own OS for release in 2010 was met with quite a welcome in the FOSS community. It was reported that Google shares benefited from the news at the time and to be fair pretty much everyone (IMO) has an interest in it, even if it is just to look at what Google is planning on releasing.
Google themselves have been pretty sparing with the features of this OS, here is what they had to say:
“Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010…..”
You can read their blog entry on the subject here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html
It was with interest that on Twitter today I noticed a comment linking to a site allegedly containing leaked screen shots of the new OS. Are these genuine or not? Who knows, but its food for thought in what actually will be released mid 2010. You can read the article here: http://www.downloadsquad.com/2009/07/30/are-these-the-first-images-of-google-chrome-os/
My personal opinion of these photo’s is that they are fake, although they are quite nice concepts. This to me looks more like a customized (and creative) KDE desktop.
Here’s another alleged set of screen shots (although I don’t think that these are as professional looking as the previous blogger) http://chromeosleak.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/the-first-pics-of-the-chrome-os-beta-for-devs/
The writer of this blog says:
“Hi there. I work for a company (Sorry to be secretive, but what I am about to post could get me in big trouble) that supplies parts for Acer laptops. Today, a Google Rep visited the Acer team to install and quickly show off some of the features of the Google OS in development.
I was invited by Acer to come and view the demo.
I can say and give only what I know and have.”
Right……so instead of risking your job and selling these pictures to the mainstream press, you risk your job and offer them for free? I’m sorry, I have a hard time accepting your blog entry (although I’d be happy to be proved wrong) This time it looks to me as if its simply an XFCE desktop which has been modified.
Finally here is a post where the author seems to have the same opinion as me and states:
“OK, we’re kidding – anyone can knock up something in Photoshop and claim to have a secret screenshot of whatever new product is hot at the time.
The image above is one that we’ve come up with to show how Google Chrome OS could shape up to look when it’s complete.”
You can see that blog here: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/first-real-chrome-os-screenshots–614924
Whatever the final product looks like, I dont think many can argue that its taken a little of the edge of the Windows 7 release date. Google have until mid 2010 to develop what they are saying they will release. During that time I would expect interest to grow as well as blogs with allegedly “real” pictures. Real or not these blogs (IMO) are feeding the hunger people have to see exactly what Google has in store and that to me (regardless of what it actually is) has stolen a little of the thunder from Redmonds Windows 7 release.
If we cast our minds back to 2005, the same thing happened with Vista. There were a plethora of alleged real screenshots (what a shock we were in for when we tried the final product for ourselves?) Funnily enough, shortly after that time Microsoft did some changing themselves and tested some unsuspecting people with Mojave, which was Vista disguised as another OS. You can read about that experiment here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/default.aspx and then consider in (hindsight) why you think Microsoft wanted to conduct this experiment. I have written entries on the Mojave experiment (and my opinions of it) in the past, to me a fair test of any OS is on your own specs and I think people saw that the experience of those using Mojave were vastly different to the ones that they got when they installed it on their own machines. The Mojave experiment was conducted on machines (allegedly) with 2gig of ram and consider that even these days 2gig is overkill for many (certainly those running Linux for common tasks IMO) infact this post is currently being typed on a machine with 2gig and having a quick look at my memory usage, I am only using 15% of it, yet I have two seperate browser instances, my mail client and an IRC client all running at the same time.
The one thing the Mojave experiment is good for (IMO) was to highlight where the MS faithful possibly get their 1% figure from (in respect of Linux market penetration) According to the Mojave site, the people involved in this experiment broke down as follows:
- 84% Windows XP users
- 22% Apple operating system users
- 14% Pre-Windows XP users
- 1% Linux users
- Some users use multiple platforms.
I wonder if Google will disguise their OS, put it on specs of their choosing and “test” members of the public? I wouldn’t have thought so, Google has a “clean slate” when it comes to OS’s.
This could be the making of Google as an OS developer, but whatever it turns out to be, its another choice for users and that can only be a good thing.
In the meantime, I continue to be impressed with the builds of Chromium. Im currently running 188.8.131.52 (0)
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org