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OMG! CHROMEOS LIVE BLOG!

Google will, today, be showing off their initial version of Google Chrome OS. Here we inform you, live, of the updates and revelations regarding one of the most highly anticipated operating systems this millenium decade.

18.02: People are late, event will begin in a few minutes..
18:04: A slide on screen!

18:06: There will be NO BETA or release today.
18:06: The entire OS will be open sourced today.
18:07: Chrome is the reason behind ChromeOS; to help push the web forward.

18:07: 40 million regular users of Google Chrome browser.
18:08: Talking about how much faster Chrome is over IE; 40%; focused on end-to-end speed – from startup as well as javascript.
18:09: Chrome been updated over 20 times; users aren’t even aware!
18:09: Focus on HTML 5
18:09 3 more announcements coming this year: Chrome for LINUX, MAC and EXTENSIONS launch.

18:10: HTML5;Working on making webapps using system recourse such as graphics; want games in the browser to be able to use GPU, multi-cores.

18:12: Working on making webapps work offline.
18:13: Exciting trends in computer industry: -

18:13: Netbooks incredibly popular; most people have important data stored in the cloud; webapps most successful platform so far;
18:14: Phones becoming like computers, computers becoming like phones = convergence = new model of computing.
18:15 Better model of computing = Chrome OS.
18:15: ChromeOS to be super fast, boot should be just like switching a TV on! Chrome will be even faster on Chrome OS than any other OS.

18:16: All apps to be WEB APPS. NO desktop applications. No binaries.
18:17:  All data to be stored in the cloud… GDrive?
18:18: Security: Due to no binaries or desktop apps mean Google knows everything that runs; no malicious code can run out side the browser.
18: 19 – Demo. A 7 SECOND BOOT! Will be even quicker in final release.

18:20: Desktop: -

18:21: App Menu

18:22: Apps open in “persistant windows”

18:25 – Aim to play movies, music, books, etc.
18:27: It has “workspaces”; i.e. another chrome window with different tabs open

18:27: File browser is also in Chrome; documents launch in online apps; they demo and Excel document opening in Microsoft OfficeOnline

18:29: Example: Camera files just open in “panels”

18:29: Demo’s clicking on a PDF file; opens instantly in the browser.

18:30: Some dude who’s name I just missed is talking about under the hood and design documents

18:31: Only works on SSDs!
18:32: Talking about why current OS’s are slow;

18:33: how to “fix” security isues IF they arise; ChromeOS uses a “verified boot” – checks that you’re running what you should be running;

18:35: System automatically repairs itself using “re-imaging”. ChromeOS re-imaging SAVES all cache data and settings.
18:36: App security;Current OSes security model are 20 years old.

18:37: Security sandbox protects system and files from webapps;
18:38: Root partition is read-only.

18:39: ALL data encrypted on the user data partition; all synced back to the cloud as well. (Bookmarks, wallpapers, wifi settings). Whatever machine you use – it’s your OS.

18:40: Hands back to the, er, other guy who’s name i didn’t catch.

18:41: Brief overview of ChromeOS in the market next year.
18:42: ChromeOS will be REFERENCED with manufacturers.
18:43: Will get specify hardware for use with Chrome OS; won’t work with hard-drives or certain wifi cards, etc.
18:44: Netbooks have issues; Google will work with manufacturers to make bigger screens, full sized keyboards…
18:45: Google thank Ubuntu, webkit, Linux Kernel… :D  Will be sending changes back upstream.
18:46: ChromeOS can work today – but you’ll need the right netbook!
18:46: 3 Minute video being demo’d.

18:49: Q&A Time!

Q&A’s paraphrased by me.

Q “What is the target audience? Can you run Android apps on it? A chance of a ChromeOS Server?”
A  Many interesting possibilities; Across Android there are large innovations – all opensource, all involve the community, we will go through a paradigm shift in computing;

Q: “If you’re specifying hardware components you should know what they’ll cost?! Price target?”
A: “Price ranges will what people are used to in the netbook category. No price target.

Q: “What netbook did you use for the demo?”
A: “Off the shelf EeePC.”

Q: “How do manufacturers ‘apply’ to be part of ChromeOS?”
A “We have a lot of documentation on our website. We’ve been reaching out, for most partners most info is out.”

Q: “Application store? Driver certification? Editing applications for photos or videos?”
A: “A lot more details to be announced. Main focus on web applications and help people to discover them.
Working with manufacturers on drivers, using open source drivers where possible. Testing plan in place.

There are apps currently not available on the web but this OS is for a device whereby you mainly use it online. There are a few user cases that they’re trying to fit; there are already webapps online to allow edit.”

Q: “Codec support?”
A: “Already have Flash, HTML5. Native Client and working on codec hardware acceleration through the browser. What you see in ChromeOS WILL make it into Chrome as well.”


Q: “Will there be Silverlight support?”
A: “To  be announced.”

Q: “Will multiple browser run on ChromeOS?”
A: “No. The code is available so if another browser can take it and make their own OS. Chrome is the operating system, other browsers can’t replace it.”

Q: “Is ChromeOS only going to run on netbooks?”
A: “Initially only focused on Netbook to deliver best experience possible.In the future want it to run on desktops, laptops, etc.”


Q: “How big is ChromeOS (filesize)?”
A: “Currently lots in the code because it’s in development. Aim is to have a simplified code-stack.”

Q: “Offline access provided by gears?”
A: “Primarily for use online, but you can “cache” online media locally. HTML5 capability also allows for local storage.”

Q: “Virtualisation; Can it be run in a virtual machine?”
A: “Currently, yes. That’s how we currently use it.”

Q: “Android Apps on Chrome?”
A: “Pushing webapps; HTML5, Native Client. Android apps, as of today, won’t run on ChromeOS.”

Q: “Are you saying flat out that no third-party apps or Android apps will ever run on ChromeOS?”
A: “Currently they won’t work. Webapps are our focus, we’re working hard on webapps.”

Q: “Will ChromeOS work on Arm or x86?”
A: “Chrome will function on both, and Native Client is currently being worked on for ARM. We will make sure there is a way [by release] that the same functionality is delivered on both.”

Sergey Brin has dropped in!

Q: “Android Apps!!!!????”
A: “Focused on webapps.”

Q: “Dell has instant-on OSes. Do you have plans to be a second-os like these?”
A: “No. We’re focused on being a core OS; making a mean netbook that runs the OS as best as possible.”

Q: “Printers… flip-cams… etc. How will it handle this?”
A: “Storage devices (camera’s, phones, iPods, etc) will work. ChomeOS WILL print, but that will announced next year…”

Q: “Chrome involved the community, ChromeOS will involved the community; how do you hope the community blooms around ChromeOS ? 
A: “We’re serious about upstream and downstreaming; the vendor side is exciting as it will help get this running on their OS.”

Q: “What about real-time notifications on every page?”
A: “[Sergey] Work is needed. Need to introduce this into the browser..”
A: “W33C Notification API will be a big part of ChromeOS.”

Q: “What is ChromeOS’s strategic position? now you’re going head-tohead Microsoft, etc.”
A: “Call us dumb businessmen, but we’re focused on users need; there is a need to use computers easily. Netbooks are cheap but managing the software on them would be high; the web platform is easier and can perform just as well.”

Et Fin.

Conclusion

Now the session is over and the source has been released it is up to developers to fully shape this OS. What we saw today was an initial build; an early step out of the comfort of user case studies and  and into the big brash world of user expectation, practical realities and the baited breath of the press.

It is too early to tell whether Google ChromeOS will succeed or fail, what we have gathered from this “pre-launch launch” is that Google are doing their best to give it every chance at succeeding by open-sourcing it.  

One hour, one crazy operating system paradigm shift and one confused looking Sergey Brin later we’re left with a potential look at the future of consumer OSes….

You can grab the source code of Google ChromeOS @ http://src.chromium.org/

DISCLAIMER: 
This was typed live at speed with the event. As such grammar and spelling had to take a back seat so please don’t bemoan any typos, etc.