For the somber souls chained to 5 minute boot times and 100% CPU usage, take heart. Early yesterday morning, Google announcment Chrome OS.

Yes, another OS, but this time one with all the characteristics you would expect from a product put out by Google, namely, speed, simplicity and yeah, totally open-source. An open-source OS. That big news for any type of app developer, but this has one more aspect that completely changes how we’ll play each day.

See you soon. We’re moving to the web
So, Did you think a Google OS wouldn’t happen? It’s slated for consumerism late 2010. Developers and the open-source community will get it later this year. The announcement was made right on the cusp of Microsoft making their own huge announcement come Monday about Office being delivered completely over the web. Convenient huh? Nevertheless, what Google is cookin’ up is bound to put the fear in an OS or two.

The OS is the Web
If you wander over to the announcement you’ll get the general idea of what Google is planning for this OS. It’s going to be initially targeted at Netbooks, like the Eee PC or MSI Wind, but will later move to workstations. The interesting point is where the development is going to take place. Remember, this is going to an open-source OS.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. 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. 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.

The web is the platform. With Google going strong after OEM’s and product partners, you can imagine this means a lot of apps are going to be moving to the web. And why not, if you have an Smartphone, with Windows Mobile, Android or the iPhone OS, you know you can do many day-to-day tasks on those systems alone.

What will happen with CAD/PLM?
So, this poses the question about CAD/PLM Apps being developed for the Chrome OS and the curiosity if Google has the foresight to approach CAD and PLM companies to join in the fun. Nost likely the Chrome OS will be using it’s O3D API, so I would say this opens up a whole new dawning of 3D CAD apps. Whether it’s the big players or new developers… we’ll just have to wait and see.

Update!: – To get a little perspective in all this, be sure to read the Fake Steve Jobs write-up (Thanks Frank!) on Google’s OS Shenanigans. The best point he makes… Nobody uses the Chrome Browser. Something I thought about. Everyone is using iPhones and Firefox (I don’t count IE since it just plain sucks) A minuscule amount of traffic comes here from a Chrome Browser. I get more from Safari. But still, could an open OS from Google knock some market share out of Apple/Microsoft?


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.