Chrome OS: Source Code Released

The media event at Google's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters, has ended Thursday with the unveiling of the source code of its new Chrome OS. Google is open-sourcing the project as Chromium OS - thereby inviting the open source community and developers for contributions.

The Chromium OS project includes Google's current code base, user interface experiments and some initial designs for the ongoing development - no conventional desktop applications, users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs. There will be no hard drives and all data will be stored in the cloud, apart from local data caches for speed and apps that support HTML5's local data capabilities. There will be no software installation.

Chrome OS consists of custom firmware, an optimized Linux kernel, and the Chrome Web browser. The only applications it will run will be Web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications.

Chrome OS will run initially on machines that will store data in solid-state flash memory - notably, Netbooks. And it will be ready for consumers towards the end of 2010, according to the report.