Google Chrome OS: All Quiet on the Western FrontFebruary 23rd, 2010
You 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.
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 …
- Engadget Chrome OS image download: http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/20/google-chrome-os-available-as-free-vmware-download/
- PCWorld’s Chrome OS FAQ: http://www.pcworld.com/article/168080/faq_google_chrome_os.html?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a38:g26:r4:c0.002918:b26258934:z0
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