Google Chrome OS takes on WindowsNetbooks to get open source lightweight Google OS

08 July 2009

Google Chrome logo

Google Chrome browser icon

Google has announced a new computer operating system (OS) based on its Chrome web browser that is set to challenge Windows on netbooks.

According to the Official Google Blog, the Google Chrome OS will be an 'open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks', based on 'speed, simplicity and security'.

Google has already targeted mobile phones and and small computing devices with its Android operating system, with the T-Mobile G1 being the first handset available running Android. The next generation of Android mobiles is now emerging, with the HTC Hero (also known as the G1 Touch) combining its own 'Sense' user interface with Android.

Google Chrome OS due in 2010

Google Chrome OS will be open source software, like the Chrome browser, and it's predicted to be available on netbooks from the second half of 2010. Early predictions are that the OS will be free, like Linux, on which it will be based, and it's widely seen as a serious rival to Microsoft Windows, especially due to the predicted UK pricing of Windows 7.

Which? has a first look review of Google Chrome, and although Google's browser has failed to significantly dent the dominance of Internet Explorer and Firefox, a web-based Google Chrome OS which offers total integration with the internet is likely to be more successful.

Which? tech expert Al Warman said: 'Google is set to shake up yet another segment of the technology landscape. If its Chrome OS can deliver for free what Microsoft has charged consumers for since the birth of Windows, then it's highly likely that users will trust the Google brand enough to make the switch. 

'And if cheap netbooks can run a free OS other than Linux, then that can only be good news to drive down the cost of computing.'

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals