Chances are that you are reading this on a Window’s machine, or that failing that either on a Mac or some species of Linux — it’s pretty much a three horse race, and a biased one at that. So obviously when Google decided to enter the operating system market with Google Chrome OS there’s always going to be some excitement especially when they promise to ‘revolutionise’ the way we use our computers.
Aiming to be more in sync with the way we use computers today (i.e. on the web) it focuses more on speed, security and simplicity which Google are hoping will help it to break into the O/S market — but what makes Google Chrome OS special, and will you be throwing your Windows away when it’s released? Let’s have a look!
The first thing Google have done is take a pick axe to the stuff that happens when you boot up and has cut out all the stuff they deem unnecessary (such as checking whether or not you have a floppy drive) to result in a boot time of around 10 seconds allowing you to get connected quicker than ever.
Secondly we have security — something very easy to claim to have but which is often over exaggerated, but Google do actually have a pretty good reason for this claim and it lies in the fact that rather than storing things locally everything (and I mean everything: files, applications, the lot) it will be all saved on the cloud which means Google can run daily security checks to ensure nothing is out of sync, and will allow them to fix threats and problems as they happen.
Thirdly is simplicity, and seeing as Chrome OS is essentially a glorified version of the Google Chrome browser you can be fairly certain that if your capable of using one of them then mastering the OS will be a doddle especially as there will be less features to play around with, and less things to go wrong!
Unfortunately that’s where most the advantages stop (excluding the big one [it’s free!]) and things start to look a little less rosy. The fact that everything is stored on the cloud means that you will need to be online all of the time if you want to be able to access any of your stuff, and although there is the possibility that you may be able to back it up on a hard drive Google haven’t mentioned anything about it so don’t hold your breath!
Speaking of hard drives another way that Google are planning to up the speed of the OS is banishing HDD meaning you will only be able to use it with SSDs which although will make life quicker and simpler for those privileged enough to have one, but us ‘neanderthals’ will have to survive without it.
Finally we have the fatal problem to those dying to get their hands on it: you’re going to find it pretty hard! Firstly it’s not going to be released till this time next year, although hardware will be released in about June to get you salivating before its full release. Which leads me nicely onto the other problem: you won’t be able to just download it. Much like the Android OS for smartphones (and netbooks) it will only be available on devices launched and approved by Google, which is a shame as I think this will severely limit its popularity especially as a Dual-boot option.
So that’s Google Chrome OS. Please check out video demos below and let us know what you think! Could this be the OS to change the way we use computers and the internet, or another over hyped attempt at Google domination?