Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chrome OS - First Impressions

I downloaded the new Google Chrome OS and ran it on Sun’sVirtualBox VM software.

My first impressions...

It was only an 8 second start up time to the login screen. Awesome! Then a single sign-on to your computer with your Gmail account. Another 8 seconds and the Chrome browser was open with my Gmail account and Google Calander. Now that was impressive! Within 25 seconds of me turning on my computer I was reading my email.

What else is there to Chrome OS? It doesnt seem like there is anything else. I couldn't find anywhere to configure system preferences or anything. Do you want to open other programs or windows, or install other software (like Firefox)? Unfortunately you can't! It felt like I was in an internet cafe with a computer that is so locked down that all I can do is surf the web. A note to all internet cafe's around the world...None of the big players online support IE6 anymore. Please upgrade to anything else!

Anyway, Chrome OS is aimed at netbooks (at least initially). A netbook user would typically like to turn on their computer, have it quickly boot, have their browser immediately open, check their mail and calendar, and then continue surfing. That is what Chrome OS allows them to do, but thats it. The OS is merely a portal to the internet. You can't run anything locally.

But I guess that over the years Google has been introducing online services and applications so the average consumer doesn't really need local applications. With Chrome OS, Google can encourage the use of online applications such as Google Documents, and (when it gets a lot better) it might actually start to rival MS Office, because it is free and online. After all, who needs local storage when there is cloud computing?

Conclusion... Google Chrome OS boots damn fast! It allows you to quickly get on the interweb. It's not exciting from an OS perspective as far as user experience goes, but damn it's fast!

If you want to try out, navigate your interweb browser to this hyperlink:

P.s. Google seems to be putting all types of applications online. What is next? Is Google going to make an online Pro Tools? Now that would be impressive!


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