Google Chrome OS Revealed

Google-Chrome-OSYesterday, Google [GOOG] introduced a new operating system called Google Chrome OS. We have heard a few things about it over the last few months, but now it has been officially displayed. The idea behind Chrome OS is that most users switch on their computer and want to go online to get email, check Facebook, browse websites, search for jobs, go shopping and perhaps play games while chatting to friends and listening to music etc… with other programs not getting as much use, if any at all. Perhaps the web browser is the most important and most used program on a computer in Google’s words.

When a computer boots up if often takes a while from hitting the power button to loading up a web browser. For this reason Google decided to get rid of all the things that slow it down and make the browser the operating system. After hitting the power button you can be online within seconds.

With you only booting in to an operating system the system already gets rid of the need to install and deal with program updates, as there are none stored locally. The Chrome operating system keeps all files online so that you can connect from any device or computer and have all your documents and emails where ever you are. Another name given for this type of setup is stateless. To get a run-down of the principles behind Chrome OS check out the video below.

The actual operating system (video below) looks very good. When logging in to a device you are immediately presented with the browser window you left open along with any tabs for email, documents so that you can continue where you left off. At the top left of the screen a Chrome Menu can be found where any tabs not pinned to the top bar are made available. When opening some of the items in the menu they will either open full screen in a new tab, or open in to what Google refers to as panels which first jump up from the bottom of the screen showing content such as chat conversations, media (like music) and other various things. You also have the option of pinning the floating panels to the sidebar in a more organised way which prevents the panel from obscuring the browsing window, but does at the same time shrink down the browsing window.

Navigation between browser windows is done by gestures with the mouse and also by zooming out to view all browser windows and content which you can then click to zoom in to.

When connecting up a device such as a digital camera via a USB port, a small file browser window pops up as a panel where you can then drag and drop the images you want in to various parts of the browser as needed.

Overall I am impressed with what Chrome OS will offer. The main problem that I have with it though is that it replaces programs that I sometimes use. If good enough I’d certainly buy a netbook with it pre-installed. Hopefully Google will allow installs on to other devices such as desktop PC’s although they were quite adamant about only running it on SSD devices.

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