Google Chrome OS

Google Singapore held a media preview of their latest Chrome OS yesterday, which is is designed to provide better mobile computing and web experience. The Chrome OS is scheduled to be available on netbooks by various manufacturers in the second half of the year.

Caesar Sengupta, Product Management Director of Google Inc, was at the media session to demo the new Chrome operating system.

“While we were doing Chrome (browser), we saw some major technological changes taking place in the industry, The first is large number of users are starting to spend most of their lives and computing experience on the web. The second big trend we noticed was netbooks which people are using primarily as a web access device for chat, email, web games etc. The third thing was that laptops, netbooks, tablets and phones are all starting to look alike – laptops and netbooks have 3G card slots for data connectivity; phones and tablets are becoming bigger. So all these convince us that we need to relook at the computing experience. If you think about it, almost all your computing experience is one icon (web browser) on your desktop. We wanted to change that as your computing experience should be in the web. And that’s when we started designing the Google Chrome OS.”

The Google Chrome OS looks no different to the Chrome web browser with very similar user interface. Besides the various web applications, the OS also plays video and music files when you plug in a USB thumbdrive or SD card with the multimedia files. There is no hassle and no need to install apps on the netbook as most webs you need are on the web, although there may be a possibility for those who want to do so.

According to Sengupta, the netbook with Google Chrome OS will have a boot up time of just seven seconds. The netbook will be using Intel Pinetrail platform or Arm processor (depending on the manufacturer), but there’s no news of one with AMD processor yet. It would also not have a giant hard disk, but a sufficient-sized solid state drive for storage (16GB or 32GB depending). Battery life is also expected to last up to seven or eight hours.

However, because it relies on the web applications with no offline applications installed, this mean you would need to have constant Internet access. While the Google Chrome OS looks fairly appealing, you can basically do the same (and more) with conventional netbooks and laptops since the apps are all on the web; and despite Google Chrome OS being able to boot up a lot faster and probably more secured. But the pricing could be the deciding factor as to how well received the Google Chrome OS will be when its out later this year.