Anand's Thoughts on Google's Chrome OSby Anand Lal Shimpi on December 8, 2010 6:23 PM EST
Atom is fast enough to run a Chrome browser and without the burden of Windows 7 I’d expect Chrome notebooks to be fast enough for most things. It remains to be seen how smooth things like scrolling Flash video playback will be however.
Google did provide two measures of performance in its announcement yesterday. Chrome OS should boot in around 10 seconds and wake from sleep instantly.
These two imply that there’s some element of solid state storage at play within the Cr-48 but I’m still awaiting confirmation from Google. Edit: Storage on the Cr-48 is confirmed to be all solid state, no platters, thanks everyone!
Chrome OS is currently only supported by Intel x86 platforms and will launch with Atom based designs, however with the apps running on Chrome OS being web based, from a developer standpoint the Chrome OS is effectively ISA independent.
If Google (or someone else, the OS being open source) chooses to port Chrome OS to ARM, so long as the underlying OS is full featured, apps that run on an x86 version would run on an ARM version. This leaves a huge opportunity for ARM to enter the notebook/netbook market with the Cortex A15 in the coming years. The OEMs would have to demand it however, and I suspect we will only see that if Intel drops the ball on being price/performance competitive in this space.
Whereas an ARM (or non-x86) threat to Intel never really existed in the Windows world, it’s very possible with Chrome OS.
I will add that while Chrome OS could enable ARM based notebooks, I don’t suspect that will happen in a major way anytime soon given what I know of Intel and ARM’s respective processor roadmaps.