Friday, November 20, 2009

Google Chrome OS

Google just announced Google Chrome OS (although most people knew it was coming).

Google Chrome OS is a new operating system that Google is creating based on it's Chrome Web Browser.

The operating system will not store anything on the computer you are using. Everything, including applications, will be hosted on Google's servers ("in the cloud"). The operating system boots up in less than 10 seconds (very impressive!) and within another 5-10 seconds you are online and working. The OS basically runs everything through the Chrome web browser.

Every time you boot up your computer, the OS connects with Google's system and does a self check. If it finds any problems or issues, it will fix it with a reload. That is part of the security of Chrome OS. The other part of the security is that if you loose your computer, or someone steals it, they can't access your data with out your account information and password. There is no data on the computer itself. (This part is very nice considering how many companies lose important data, including customer personal information, when employee laptops are lost or stolen.)

My first impressions from the video of the launch are impressive. I see Chrome OS as the perfect OS for netbooks - it doesn't need much for memory on the computer, boats at warp speed, and still allows you do to your work. I already use mostly cloud based apps (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Evernote, Engrade) so having an operating system like this on a netbook is great. This is not for everyone though. If you need to do work on computer based files, this is not for you.

Below, you can see a screen shot of Chrome OS. Notice how it runs in Chrome Browser. In the upper right corner you can see the time and battery level indicator. All the applications are tabs in the browser. The Chrome OS notepad is also shown on the right side.

Below is a shot of some of the applications for Chrome OS. They are all web based applications. Some of the apps listed: Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Google Reader, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Pandera, Picasa Web, YouTube, Hulu, Contacts, ToDo list, Calculator, Facebook, Twitter, and a "get more" link.

Overall, I would say that Google Chrome OS, which should be available next year, will be a great OS for people using netbooks and who work with web-based applications.


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