Google Chrome OS: All Quiet on the Western FrontFebruary 23rd, 2010

Google Chrome logoYou can always count on Google for creating a buzz  on the internet with its innovative applications, such as Google Wave for example.   In November, Google  released its first preview of its new operating system: Google Chrome OS.

Google said that this new operating system targets  netbooks that use on-line applications only, without local storage support. The entire system is stored on SDD disks – and nothing else.

That said, I wanted to see for myself what could be this new Google concept. So I downloaded the Chrome OS VMWare image (also available for Sun’s VirtualBox) from engadget web site and ran it on my PC.

Chrome OS screenshot

Actually, Chrome OS is built on a Linux kernel with an enhanced Chrome browser as the user interface. Only on-line and some off-line (based on HTML 5 off-line access features) applications can be used. Chrome OS does not handle local storage systems such as hard drives or USB keys. So, no way to use your netbook as a video or music player, except for on-line resources (YouTube, Deezer, …).

This new Google operating system left me skeptical. This OS is based on a linux kernel but restricted by Google specifications. I do not think I would ever pay for a netbook that will only work if I can access the internet, on which I cannot store my music and video library, without any way to store my files on a local device or handle external devices (at the time being, Google has not announced any solution to handle printers for instance :( ). It reminds me of the  Sun’s Network PC concept,  a comeback of  the old passive terminal, applied to the Cloud. Google seems to target the iPad-like devices, but the restrictions are so drastic that I think that Apple can sleep on both ears ;)

But we will see, as Google always surprises us …

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jacques.desmazieres

Written by Jacques Desmazières

February 23rd, 2010 at 12:50 pm


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