Google's official release of Chromium OS open source project added yet another flavor of Linux. But we all know from the very start that it's no ordinary distro. Google Chrome OS is poised to become the operating system of tomorrow. But can it really succeed and take Linux to a whole new level?
First, we have to look at the project's main goal, which is to make Chrome OS faster, safer, and simpler than the current desktop operating systems.
During the recent Google event, Chrome OS shows off its speed by booting in 7 seconds flat using an Asus EeePC. If that doesn't sound fast to you then wait till the final release as they say it will become even quicker.
Here's an illustration that explains why the current operating systems are much slower than Chrome OS:
Chromium OS has been carefully built from the ground up with security in mind. If either the operating system or the user detect that the system has been harmed, an update can be initiated, and after a reboot, the system will be returned to a known good state.
Chromium OS security strives to protect against an opportunistic adversary through a combination of system hardening, process isolation, continued web security improvements in Chromium, secure auto-update, verified boot, encryption, and intuitive account management.
Chrome OS is so simple that all of its apps are web apps, which means the entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. Users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating software applications. As for the user interface (forget about the Chrome OS mock-ups), see these screenshots:
Now, we have to look at the target audience of Chrome OS. With its simple "web only" applications, it will attract typical desktop users (netbook users in particular) who only use their computer for web surfing, checking emails, and social networking.
Power users like graphic designers, software developers, and gamers will never be that interested in Chrome OS. Perhaps like me, they will only think of using it as a secondary operating system. But since people at Google firmly believe that the web is the future of computing, they will do whatever they can to someday make Chrome OS suitable for everyone's needs.
I think a huge key in making Chrome OS a success is how well Google can address the issues regarding PRIVACY. Will users be trustful enough to store their important and sensitive data in the cloud?