Chrome OS revealed!

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by Mike
Posted November 19th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

chrome-os

Google junkies and all around simpletons with curiosity bouncing off the charts in regards to Google’s Chrome OS can finally have some visual treats to munch on. Taking a quick glance above, you can see that it’s a lot like the Chrome browser. To some that’s good, to others it’s bad. It’s highly effective though. After going through several different live blog events, the ease at which you switch between browser tabs and applications tabs really does blend the whole desktop/cloud line. But there’s more to know, so come on in…

  • It’s all in the cloud…

Chrome OS is fast, extremely light weight, and easy to navigate. If you can get around it’s browser variant, you’re already a Chrome OS wiz. The only thing I can see being a slight knock is that with a large number of browser tabs/sessions and a good dozen or two “apps”, the tab layout could get a little crowded. Though this isn’t the final version of the OS as Google’s VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai, stated on stage. While some aspects will change such as UI layout and placement, “very many” aspects will carry over or remain largely unchanged.

  • UI

From a purely physical standpoint, Chrome OS looks good. I like Chrome browser’s UI because of it’s limited screen real state it takes up, leaving most of those precious pixels to the content we really want to see. In this early build at the conference, it retains most of Chrome browsers UI and functionality.

  • Speed

One of the big draws with accessing and interacting with cloud based data has already been touched on — speed. But another highly useful fact is that hardware becomes much less a problem. From a developers perspective, the heavy reliance on cloud based technologies as well as various types of flash storage and data caching will end up resulting in an extremely fast OS. As also pointed out in the presentation, because the OS doesn’t run your conventional application, background services don’t have to be started which point back to faster boot times. Also of importance regarding speed, on conventional machines, multiple logged in users with numerous resource heavy apps open can take a toll overall system performance. Not so with Chrome OS. Instead of having to configure everyone’s machines for specific uses and installing/uninstalling applications on a constantly outdated box of plastic and silicon, using a cloud based OS like Chrome OS will streamline the user experience and allow multiple users to use the same machine. The only difference is that cloud based machines will change depending on who’s logged in without the hassle and fuss of custom hardware configurations. Sweet deal!

  • Security

As far as security goes, Chrome OS appears to be pretty tight while also boasting a completely open development — much like various distros of Linux. The OS source code is free to all. Tweakers and nerds get at it! Back to those security features — cryptographic signature keys check the OS at boot to make sure it’s a clean, uninfected install as malware adds size to the overall package thereby throwing up a red flag to the OS’s system of checks and balances. When a problem or intruder is found, the OS will automatically repair itself or download a fresh, up-to-date copy to install over the corrupted version.

  • Conclusion

Overall it’s pretty darn impressive, though we still have a long stretch of waiting to do. A “release goal” isn’t expected until late next year (2010) ahead of the holiday season. Can you make it? Also, the idea of completely cloud based OS may turn some people off. Hey, you can’t please everyone. But for the main population who wants to browse the web and open a few common apps routinely, Chrome OS is shaping up mighty nicely.

So cozy up, find a live blog of the event (there’s a million) and lets us know what you think. Is Chrome OS everything you thought it would be, or did Google let you down?

Engadget

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