Google Announce Google Chrome OS

In what seems like another big announcement today, Google has announced that they are working on a new operating system.  The Google Chrome OS is said to be different from Android and targeted towards netbooks.

It is little wonder that this new OS is targeted towards people that want to get online fast.  In fact, their blog post mentions the intention of the OS itself:

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web.

For someone that has seemed to do a good job at providing both a great internet search engine and a simple, straight-forward browser, it is no surprise that they are pointing towards the web as the platform for their applications.  And, what applications would one use on a netbook?  Documents? Spreadsheets? Google Docs covers that.  Email? Gmail has that down, too. What about talking with your friends online? Google Talk handles that.

“Alright,” some of you may be saying. “So you’re suggesting that Google does it all?”  Not necessarily.  There are times where you might find a need to chat with friends on Yahoo or MSN quickly, which is where a service such as Meebo can come in.  Or if you need to pop on IRC to get some Ubuntu support, you can use a variety of web-based solutions, including Mibbit.

Overall, this may lead to a very versatile application environment:

For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies.

With the web as your platform, that gives you quite a few options.  And, if we can assume that Google Chrome will be the standard browser in Google Chrome OS, then you’re looking at a fairly stable, smooth operating environment for your applications.  Plus, there’s the added benefit:

And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.

If some app happens to stand out on Google Chrome OS, it is possible it either already exists on the web or would be easily available for the rest of us to use (should we not be using Google Chrome OS).

As people use the Internet more and more for work, communcation, and the overall sharing of ideas, simpler and smaller internet solutions may be required.  Netbooks cater to that audience.  And, given how Google Chrome itself has jumped into the browser pool, Google Chrome OS may make a similar splash with netbooks when it is released.

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Gmail and Google Apps Come Out of Beta

Fresh, breaking news from @Google‘s blog: Google Apps, Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, Talk, they’re all coming out of beta.  After being in beta for over five years, Gmail now will be without those four little letters that we’ve all come to know and love.

What does this mean for those apps?  Is Google changing how they’re working on them?  Not really.  Here’s a quote from their blog:

“Beta” will be removed from the product logos today, but we’ll continue to innovate and improve upon the applications whether or not there’s a small “beta” beneath the logo.

So, all that is changing is the removal of ‘Beta’ from the logos, it seems.

What kind of impact might this have?  Honestly, I already think of Google as providing wonderfully useful apps and services.  The fact that they now no longer list it as beta doesn’t change much in my mind.  But it may make things look more professional to people, especially those that may not know how well Google makes things.

Either way, Gmail and Google Apps are still very useful, and I’m glad they’re sticking around!