Interestingly, the scope for this blog may need to go beyond Windows. I heard a news story on NPR this morning entitled “Google Operating System to Challenge Microsoft,” wherein the long-standing rumor that Google was planning to release an operating system for netbook use finally became news. Apparently, the work is based on the Chrome Web browser, and is going to be called the Google Chrome OS according to the announcement posted last evening on the Google Blog. Here’s a brief snippet from same that lays things out:
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.
This should be pretty interesting. And now that I own a couple of netbooks — a Dell Mini 9 and an Asus Eee PC 1000HE — I can hardly wait to try this out when it becomes more broadly available.]]>
Once you download and install the program, you’ll launch it from the Start menu. Thir produces a startup screen.
Click the “Start Check” button to perform the upgrade review of the machine upon which the software is running.
Wait several minutes while the hardware check is underway.
When it’s complete, a report appears as shown. It will tell you what kind of upgrade you can perform (if any), indicate any components on your current OS that may not be available in Windows 7 (for my Vista Ultimate install that includes Windows Mail, now supplanted by Windows Live Essentials Mail, parental controls that are no longer supported in Windows 7, and Ultimate Extras which are likewise gone, gone gone).
If you’re curious, you can also click on the System Requirements link to see how well your system meets Windows 7 minimum install requirements.
If you’re even halfway thinking about upgrading any machines to Windows 7, you definitely want to install and get to know the beta version of this tool. At 6.3 MB, it’s a pretty speedy download.]]>