Google Chrome OS

It’s nice to hear of a new operating system coming up. The central idea here is to use a lightweight Linux based kernel and the Google Chrome browser (that is built over the WebKit engine) to offer “speed, simplicity and security” to the end user.

The OS is targeted at initially at netbooks and eventually will power high end desktop systems. Of course, all applications on this OS will then be Web applications. Google Gears will be an important component for offline applications.

MS is incubating Gazelle, a possible next version of the browser. Gazelle uses Windows as the backend.

HTML 5 (“the second coming of the web”) is another standard on its way although it may take many more years from now to release. Boasting impressive capabilities and blurring the lines between online and desktop apps, some features of HTML 5 have already made its way into Firefox, Chrome and IE8. What is interesting to watch out for is that it brings 2D drawing and video capabilities to the browser, potentially threatening proprietary frameworks like Flash, Java FX and Silverlight! 

All in all, the thought that the browser be at the center of the new operating system is an interesting thought. As is the thought that browser capabilities may enhance to a point that traditional operating systems may become obsolete.

What does this augur for learning? For one, it lays the basis of a more connected world – the web at the center of the learning experience. Secondly, training developers will need to be aware of the power that these new technologies can bring on, reshaping how we create and deploy online learning today.  Thirdly, LMS/LCMS providers, if they live to see that day (sorry, could not resist taking that dig!), will need to adjust their systems to take advantage of these new standards and technologies.

If we thought Web X.0 was it, think again. These new standards and technologies have the power to reshape the Web and users’ experiences on it drastically.

On the other hand, I have written previously about the Sugar OS. This one is a different approach altogether, combining HCI with technology to achieve a new OS experience altogether. I would daresay that this is the more genuine claimant to a new operating system than Chrome OS would be.

By the way, the moniker for this blog – learnos – stands really for Learn OS – an operating system for the learner just as the standard OS today is today for the computer user. The thought is that we need something that reshapes, personalizes, connects and empowers us to learn and teach, but that something needs to be an environment by itself.

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