Google Chrome OS: Initial Impressions

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google-chrome-OS-logo Last week, Google released their initial version of how Google Chrome OS will look like. Within 24 hours, a lot of developers took a look at the first release of the OS. There are two ways to build Google Chrome OS: (1) You can build the Chrome OS from source code on Ubuntu following thru with this set of instructions (finally, I can now justify why I put a Ubuntu Linux in my Macbook Pro) and (2) Use the Google Chrome OS image from gdgt.com and run it on VM ware. I tried both ways and both worked. Of course, I recommend the 2nd method to those who want to get a glimpse on Google Chrome OS (and one of the requirements is that you have VM ware).

Here are my initial impressions:

  • Logging in is simple and based on your Google account: When you load up the Google Chrome OS, you will see a login screen. Basically, if you already have an internet connection, you just key in your Google (GMail) account login and you will be directed to the GUI desktop which basically looks like a Chrome browser.
    google-chromium-os-login
  • Only Browser features work at the moment: Currently, when you are logged in, you will see a Chrome browser and your GMail and Google Calendar will be opened at the same time on different tabs. I also experienced difficulties in running the OS as it can be slow at times. In any case, one should note that during the press conference on Chrome OS, it is revealed that the OS will run on netbooks and only have drivers specifically for SSD and not hard disks. I did not see the panels UI from Chrome OS from this build image at all. I suppose Google wants some feedback from the community before it fully released the OS next year.

    google-chrome-os-screenshot

You can learn more about the Chrome OS through this video from Google:

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Bernard Leong

A Pragmatic Idealist

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3 thoughts on “Google Chrome OS: Initial Impressions”

  1. @armchairtheorist: At the moment, Chrome OS poses a competitive threat to Linux more than it is to Apple or Microsoft, given that the Linux community is very fragmented. Given that the focus of Chrome is towards netbooks, it will pose a threat to Microsoft because it is likely the BIIC countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia and China) will gain adopters along the way. As for Apple, it is unlikely given that they did not answer very well during the press conference whether the android apps will run on Chrome OS. It will be an interesting space to watch, given that Microsoft still holds a major domination in the market particularly in desktops and laptops, while Apple only serves a niche market (and it does not include the iPhone and iPod market where you can run them on Windows).

  2. @armchairtheorist: At the moment, Chrome OS poses a competitive threat to Linux more than it is to Apple or Microsoft, given that the Linux community is very fragmented. Given that the focus of Chrome is towards netbooks, it will pose a threat to Microsoft because it is likely the BIIC countries (Brazil, India, Indonesia and China) will gain adopters along the way. As for Apple, it is unlikely given that they did not answer very well during the press conference whether the android apps will run on Chrome OS. It will be an interesting space to watch, given that Microsoft still holds a major domination in the market particularly in desktops and laptops, while Apple only serves a niche market (and it does not include the iPhone and iPod market where you can run them on Windows).

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