Friday, October 23, 2009

Sundar Pichai Describes Chrome OS

Sundar Pichai, VP of product management at Google, sat down with Tim O'Reilly at the Web 2.0 Summit to discuss Chrome, bot the browser and the OS. "Chrome has been doing very well for us," said Sundar Pichai, VP of product management at Google, in a public interview with at the Web 2.0 Summit. Pichai claimed that three goals which it launched Chrome have gone well: speed, simplicity and security. Chrome is only about a year old and it already has about 30 million active users. "Browsers are suddenly hot again and I think operating systems are too," he said, referring both to Chrome OS and Android, Google's operating system for mobile devices.

"There haven't been other choices for a long time," he said. "Most operating systems today were designed before the Web existed... The goal with both our efforts is to get great free open source software stacks out there."

In the case of Chrome OS, everything is built around the browser. "Web apps are our core platform," said Pichai. "You write something that works on the browser, it works on Chrome OS."

But when Tim O'Reilly challenged him that Chrome OS seemed to be a window layer on top of Linux similar to Windows 3.1 being a Window layer on top of DOS, Pichai said the Chrome OS computing paradigm differs from the Linux experience. "We describe Chrome OS as Chrome on top of Linux, with a new windowing system," said Pichai, "As a user, you don't install software, you don't maintain software."