After weeks of rumors, comments, headlines and an official presentation in San Francisco, Google Chromium OS is finally here.
Chromium OS is currently only available as source code, which you can download and compile by yourself to create an image file compatible with any virtual machine solution, such as VMware or VirtualBox. It's based on Linux, starts up in seconds and is mainly designed for the Web.
This is precisely the most outstanding feature in Google Chromium OS. Almost everything is web-based, or if you prefer it, in "the Cloud". Chromium OS is meant to be used with online apps, and you will store all your files online. That's what makes it so fast and lightweight: the OS doesn't need to install anything on your computer, because you can access everything online. It's the perfect OS for low-spec computers like netbooks.
After logging in with your Gmail account, you're ready to start. Google Chromium OS may look a bit weird at first, but it's also very intuitive. Weird because it's completely different from any OS you may have tried so far – it's just a web browser –, and intuitive because a web browser is where we spend most of the time on any other OS, so there's no learning curve at all.
Google Chromium OS is undoubtedly a revolutionary operating system that challenges us users to change our image of computers, and the way we've been using them so far. On the downside, I think this revolution is still going to take quite some time, until we get used to a web-only operating system – not to mention the fact that Chromium OS is still at a very early stage of development.
Google Chromium OS is the first step towards a revolutionary Web-based operating system that uses online apps and stores everything on the Internet.