Google has unveiled its plans for Chrome OS, which will offer cloud computing on netbooks.
The operating system, based on the Chrome web browser, is designed to be lightweight and fast, enabling people to boot up their computers and get online in minutes, Google said.
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“In Chrome OS every application is a web application. There are no conventional desktop applications. There is no need to install software.” said Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management at Google.
All data and applications will reside in the internet cloud rather than the netbook, Google said, giving netbook users protection from malware.
Data will be cached in local storage and automatically synchronised with cloud-based storage when an internet connection is available.
Google said the operating system is able to take advantage of graphics processors, multicore architectures and multimedia peripherals that web applications have previously been unable to access.
Chrome OS is designed for netbooks, but Google hopes user will run netbooks as if they were fully-fledged PCs.
Chrome OS will be made available on devices with solid state discs and specific wireless cards. Google said it would be working with hardware manufacturers to develop netbooks with full-sized keyboards and high-resolution screens.
The operating system takes about seven seconds to boot up and a further three seconds to load the first application