Google Chrome OS For Dummies

November 23, 2009

**Feature Story From the mail2web.cob/blog**

Last week, Google announced the development of their newest project – Google Chrome OS. While the OS market is not completely foreign to them, as the mobile space creator of the Android OS, the personal computer is a new space for them. So, why is this announcement creating such a buzz, especially for a project that won’t launch for another year? And what should it mean for you?

Google Chrome OS Screen Capture

Google Chrome OS Screen Capture

For starters, let’s explain the difference between Google Chrome and Google Chrome OS. Google Chrome is a web browser – a tool to navigate the internet, like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Flock and Opera. Google Chrome OS, however, is an operating system – the part of your computer that runs all of your programs, like Windows XP, Vista, Snow Leopard, Mac OS X, and Linux.

The thing with most operating systems is that they are downloaded onto your computer, take up a ton of space, and then manage all of your programs and applications from your computer. The goal of Google Chrome OS is that it is unlike any operations system, as it integrates completely with the web using applications like Gmail, Google Docs and more. Its like webmail – you write, send and save all from the web, and very little, if anything, saves to your computer.

Being primarily web-based, this OS will take up very little space on your hard drive and require a mere moment to load up and get you going. It is being referred to as a “fundamentally different method of computing.”

It will also be more secure because you will be saving things to the cloud rather than downloading anything to your actual computer – leaving your hardware untouched by malicious viruses. The best part is it’s free and completely open-source. But for all of its positive qualities, it has the same amount of considerations.

Google Chrome OS will be completely free and open-source, which in theory means anyone can access, use and personalize it as they please. But before you throw your new Windows 7 out the window, keep in mind that it (as they plan today) will only run on Google approved hardware, which means you may need to invest in a new laptop – as the one you have now simply won’t make the cut.

This OS is a dream come true for netbooks, as they won’t be weighed down by a large operating system, therefore turning-out top-notch performance from sub-par computer hardware. However, this won’t be the answer to the desktop computer. It is created only for netbooks, which are used mainly for internet browsing and as the secondary computer.

“There is a real user need to be able to use computers easily. These netbooks are now $300 to $400, it is really easy to buy one. You could buy 5 to put them around your house. But if you did it today there is no way you could manage them. The overhead to manage the software on them would be way too high.” – Sergey Brin, Google

That’s the Google Chrome OS in a nutshell, but we can expect a lot of changes to come in the next year before it launches, especially since it is open-sourced. As the kind of person who has a desktop computer along with 2 laptops (one mac, and one PC), I must say I’m quite excited to add a netbook to the “family” now, powered by the Google OS.

What about you? Is this Hype or a “fundamentally different method of computing”? Will you get it? What does this mean for Microsoft and Linux? Let me know!!

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