Google’s Chrome OS, Day 1

I downloaded the open source build of Google’s Chrome operating system from gdgt here and then tried it out in Vmware Workstation 7 running on Windows 7 x64. (It didn’t work the first time I tried it as my fresh Vmware installation required a reboot, which I hadn’t done).

Biggest shock is that they included Flash Player:

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Even on my quad core though, it’s barely usable. There aren’t any “vmware tools” for the environment, so my experiences I’m certain don’t represent any real world scenarios. There’s no audio support either, so it’s not useful either.

Apparently, other things are broken as well:

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Using CTRL+ALT+T, you can access the terminal. For example, here’s the list of processes running:

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Other than that, there’s not much to see. It’s just a browser. Yawn.

Maybe it will become clear why this is such a great thing – but for now, it’s just not clear. It’s probably a good thing that it won’t be ready for a year, as I’m sure that the market overall isn’t ready for a device like this. And if the price difference isn’t much between this and and a Win7 powered netbook, why bother? Even if it can cold start in 7 seconds, I can return from standby on my current laptop in about 2 seconds ….

Are you interested in Google Chrome OS?

6 Comments

  1. Chrome OS will be perfect for non-technical folks that only use the computer for the browser. People like my 70-year old mother whose Windows machine took several minutes to start up and become usable because of all the crapware the vendor had installed and the crapware her ISP told her she needed to install. The ISP crapware included a truly horrible IE customization that crashed frequently. I uninstalled some of the crapware and installed Firefox and that helped a bit but what she really needed was a complete OS install. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do that.

    With Chrome OS, she won’t have any of these problems.

    1. So, if laptops/PCs didn’t come with crapware, would this be as appealing? I like the idea of a quick little web browser, but one-trick wonders in many households won’t cut it. How would I share music or photos on the LAN for example? (And I personally can’t see spending more than $100 or so US on something that is just a novelty item for my house).

      Will everyone want everything in the cloud? What if Google disables your account (maybe because it’s flagged as a spammer for example)? I had that happen to an account, and since I’m not a paying Google App domain customer, it took forever to not get a response … I ended up deleting the account, and waiting several days to recreate it, losing everything it had.

      I know my needs exceed the Chrome OS current specifications and functionality. It’s not clear yet that Google will nail the user experience, user expectations, and hardware needs for an average user.

  2. Yes, if Windows machines didn’t come with so much crapware, it would make Chrome OS less useful.

    Power-users are not the target audience for Chrome OS. As far as I know, my mother only uses the computer to get to the web and that’s mostly just email. She has nothing to store in the cloud.

    Isn’t the functionality Chrome OS providing the same as Web TV?

    1. Yeah, Chrome OS is a modern version of WebTV. :)

      I know I’m not a direct target for it. But, I’m trying to picture my father using something like this. Tiny little screen and keyboards, with only web access (not everyone likes web-mail software). I know he likes the 15.4″ screen he’s using now as he can see it a lot easier. He likes to print pictures that his kids send — scenarios like that will be important to many users. (Printing in general).

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