Many of you are probably familiar with the Google Chrome web browser. It’s fast, it’s minimalist, it’s customizable. What you may not know is that it is based on an open source browser project called Chromium, or that there is a remix of the browser called Iron that corrects several potential privacy problems that exist with Google Chrome.
I like to use a cocktail of different browsers when I get online. This is partly because different browsers are good at different things, and partly because I get bored easily, and I like to switch things up. For the last couple years, Opera has been my browser of choice, from which I take occasional “vacations” to keep current on other browsing options. Lately I’ve been on a big Chromium kick, for whatever reason. The only thing I don’t really like about Chromium is that my flash plugin crashes sometimes if I have a large number of tabs open that all have flash content. The flash plugin also crashes if I leave the browser open over night. Flash and Linux don’t always get along. What are you going to do?
Google is taking Chrome to the next level by essentially building an operating system about it. Google Chrome browser becomes Chrome OS. Unlike a traditional desktop OS, Chrome OS is designed to interact with web applications almost exclusively. It acta like a thin client. The OS is designed for “netizens”: people who spend most of their computing time on the internet.
In an Apple-like move, Google is preparing to release laptops with Chrome OS as the primary OS. Engadget had an article showing off some pics and specs for the Chrome OS laptop, which is called the Cr-48. Engadget is reporting 8+ hours of active use, and it will come with 3G mobile broadband courtesy of Verizon. The picture is from the Engadget article
I went over to Google and signed up to be one of the laptop-tester-outers. I hope they pick me, but we’ll see. I imagine markets like New York and California will receive more attention than KC, MO, but I really want to get my hands on one of these.
If you’re interested in trying out Chrome OS on your own time, Hexxeh posts nightly builds on his site. I’ve tried it out before, and it really is nice. It will be interesting to see what the market for a Web OS is in the world of the traditional desktop OS.
Pick me, Google. Have a good one.