Chrome will hit Macs this year. Chrome for Linux is on the way. And extensions will be coming to Chrome soon. They are based on the same web techs that are used for web pass. The chief reason is that they are easy to write for.
Chrome use has grown to 40 million users and has seen 19 major updates. It claims that it is 39 times faster at Java Script than IE.
Google wants all web pages to be able to host full voice and video capabilities, and beleives that web apps should be able to work when users are offline. Web apps need to be richer with full functionality of desktop apps. These will all be built into Chrome by 2010.
Google firmly believes that the browser is the way of the future. With the rise of netbooks, smartphones, and other web-connected devices, Web use is at an all-time high. Laptops and netbooks are also becoming more like phones. The asks, is there a better model of personal computing to our users, and that's what Chrome OS is.
Google wants Chrome OS to be blazing fast. THey want it to boot as fast as TVs, and all surfing to be fast. Chrome browser on Chrome OS will be even faster than on Windows laptops.
Every app within Chrome OS is a web application. No conventional applications. No installing software, manage updates. Everything is a URL or a link.
All the data for Chrome OS will be stored in the cloud. Users should be able to access all of their account data from any machine, including back-ups of settings and personalization.
As for security, Google thinks it can do fundamentally different things than what's been done to this point and improve. Since there are no binaries on the system, Google can prevent them from reaching the device. Simple reboots should fix most of not all problems.
Google says that since the OS is so far ahead of release, what it showed today doesn't NOT represent the final user interface. It does, however, look a lot like the Chrome browser. Favorite applications can be added as tabs at the top of the screen. Google wants apps to be accessible as fast as possible. Multiple tabs / apps can be opened at any given time. The OS also features an app menu, but the concept is that new apps should be easily discovered.
Google expects that once battery life improves, Chrome OS should provide for a solid entertainment experience.
The primary core of the OS are read only. Google says that it will constantly be updating Chrome to offer the most up-to-date protections. The file system and user data is stored on the user partition. User data is always encrypted on a user's machine. This means it will be more secure.
All user data is really just cached, as it is really synced back to the cloud at all times. If you lose a device and get a new one, all data will be returned once you sign into your account.
Google is currently working with partners to define specs. It will only support SSDs, not HDDs. It will have to be a specific Chrome OS device, shouldn't be able to port it to other machines easily. Google understands that there are a lot of usability issues and it will be working with key partners to see larger netbooks that can accommodate full size keyboards, bigger displays, better touchpads. Still, this is all a year ago. The code is open starting from today.
Given the new model of computing that Google is hoping to achieve, it is looking for lots of feedback from the open source development community. Google says that Chrome OS can be up and running on certain devices starting today for developers and those willing to crack their devices open and make some modifications.
Here's a video that explains things a bit: