back to article Google morphs Chrome OS into netbook thin client

Google's Chrome OS — the operating system that moves all apps and data into a web browser — will provide remote access to "legacy PC applications" through a mystery process the company calls Chromoting, according to an email from a Google employee. In a message posted by a third party to a public mailing list dedicated to the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. ThomH

    Best hope for netbooks in a long time?

    I'm working on the hope that a Google OS will legitimise ARM netbooks and the existing ARM Linuxes will allow those that want more than the web to go with another option while the incompatible architecture will prevent Microsoft from buying the market again. I guess the counterargument is that Android already fits the ARM netbook hardware profile, but this hasn't happened yet.

    Does anybody have any idea what sort of push, if any, Google has planned? Or is this an idea as thoroughly thought through as the direct sales model for the Nexus One?

  2. Russ Tarbox


    So effectively this will end up making Chrome OS a thin client with a web browser? Which isn't exactly unique. Also running these remote desktop systems isn't always the smoothest experience in the world, even in a LAN environment.

    It'll be interesting to see how this works.

  3. petur
    Thumb Up


    I hope they will support Linux via the free/open NX server they have under development. That would make the remote desktop experience very smooth. For windows, they can just tap into the already present remote desktop server...

  4. Neil 6

    No thanks

    I'd rather have a local OS capable of running cloud apps than a cloud OS incapable of running local apps.

  5. max allan

    As glad about this news as I was about 2.1 on the Hero

    Well, in the same way that Android 2.1 was going to be released for the Hero in January, February, March, April (as an OTA update), May and now sometime in October, this "news" could actually be a complete fake rustled up by someone to improve hits to their site.

    An "official" email posted by a 3rd party to a forum should never count as anything other than a fake until official confirmation appears somewhere (not so easy to fake) and I'm disappointed that the Reg is repeating it as news.

    Like several of the "Steve Jobs sent me an email about how the iPhone is going to make coffee in the next version" stories. It's probably just some 12 year old twat wanting to make themselves look cool by pretending to get information nobody else has.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      >Well, in the same way that Android 2.1 was going to be released for the Hero in January, February, March, April (as an OTA update), May and now sometime in October.

      The OTA was rolled down in Taiwan a while ago - delays here are down to Telco issues.....its easy to install manually though.

      Google Paul O'Brien - he's also produced a radioless update for those unlucky enough to be using Orange.

  6. Otto von Humpenstumpf


    So, Google have invented VNC then? Hurrah.

    <sarcasam off />

    1. Chemist

      Re : VNC

      I'm struggling with the novelty of this. Using vncviewer & tsclient from my various linux boxes to other machines on both the local and remote networks is an everyday thing. My wife runs remote sessions on her school's Windows system (far more reliably than from a Window's client by the way). Although these clients don't usually run in a browser they can ( certainly VNC ).

      Have we missed something in this announcement ?

      1. alex dekker 1

        Re : VNC

        > Have we missed something in this announcement ?

        Yes, it's not an announcement. It's a story about a leaked email that hasn't been confirmed by Google.

        Google did some work with NX recently, so that would seem to be a more likely candidate than VNC.

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Legacy PC apps?

    Linux has been trying to break Microsoft's monopoly for well over a decade. The stumbling point is that those "legacy Windows apps" aren't some dusty legacy that customers are glad to be freed of. They are the apps that the customer can't live without. In many cases, they are the only reason the customer bought a PC.

    We know where this leads: failure.

    We also know where running everything in the cloud over RDP leads: failure.

    So that's two failures in one package. Good work, Google!

  8. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    VNC or VMware?

    Maybe VMware is now available as a Chrome plug-in. You go to an application software download page such as Adobe's, and the plugin loads inside the browser, boots Windows 7, runs the application...?

    Still unimpressed by an "operating system" that is merely a bootable browser, thank you. But perhaps it has its uses.

  9. Captain Mainwaring

    Major disincentives

    No local printer drivers, no local apps. Sounds like an ultra-lite operating system suitable for web-browsing only. Perhaps it was only developed to increase Google's advertising real estate potential. Anderoid with it's increasing plethora of local apps sounds more appealing and versatile, even in netbook form.

  10. JDX Gold badge

    Where will the 'legacy' apps run?

    is Google to to cram a huge room full of servers running VMs, one per user? Who will decide what apps are available... Google or the user? What about licensng?

    Sounds like a horrible kludge only required because chromeOS is a bad idea for a regular PC... as an iPad competitor it's OK to be massively limited though and still be better.

  11. John Sanders

    My spider sense is tingling...

    Something is going wrong here...

    This Chrome thing is not what it looks like.

    1. Jerome 0

      I hate spiders

      This Chrome thing is exactly what it looks like: -

      a) a Chrome browser running on a customised locked-down Ubuntu Linux distro, and

      b) Google's attempt to persuade the world that web apps are the future and Windows is the past.

      1. DZ-Jay

        Re: I hate spiders too

        c) Right after Apple has proven to the world that native, locally run Apps is where the money is.


  12. itsallcrap

    I still don't trust it

    Having just spent the whole morning and half the afternoon trying the restore network functionality through a load of switches that kept falling like dominoes, I'd say I'm not yet ready to be 100% reliant on an Internet connection.

  13. David Heffernan


    As far as I can tell Chrome OS is a project to build a really lame useless computer. It looks like they are well on the way to huge success meeting this goal.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    So that will be something like Citrix or VNC then?

    So Google are basically nicking the ideas us IT people have been using for years and "selling" them to the norms!

  15. TJ 1
    Thumb Up

    Could be WINE based, not simply a remote desktop

    A remote desktop solution implies a Windows licence is required by someone somewhere to run the 'legacy' application.

    It could be lined into WINE and therefore doesn't require a Windows host OS or licence. Maybe a simple WINE <-> VNC interface that takes advantage of the VNC java client, or possibly WINE <> Neatx (NX) <> browser plug-in ?

    1. Chemist

      Re : Could be WINE based, not simply a remote desktop

      It's not a universal solution though. Some Win programs work really well with WINE - I personally use Photoshop Impression, PTGUI - the panorama generator and also the PIC IDE from Microchip - just click on the icon and it just works.

      But lots of programs don't.

  16. Doshu

    Nothing against the cloud, but...

    As a rule:

    - My pc,

    - My apps,

    - My data,

    - *MY* hard drive.

    With Google?

    - My pc,

    - My... um... dang.

  17. dave 93

    'locked-down' Ubuntu?

    Good luck with that one!

    How hard will it be to 'jailbreak' ChromeOS and run local apps, albeit Linux ones, if you want to?

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Reductio ad chromium.

    As a popular www browser or add-in aye, but the cheese, can she stand alone?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A mate had an Apple Newton with VNC on it talking to his Mac 10 years (15 years?) ago.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022