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  • Lonbjerg - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Google OS is just a fancy word for a linux distro... Reply
  • Belegost - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    So is OSX just a fancy word for a BSD distro? Reply
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Actually it would be almost the exact opposite. Mac OS X's userland is largely derived from BSD, but the kernel is completely different.

    For Android/ChromeOS, it's the same Linux kernel with a different userland.
    Reply
  • vision33r - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    It's just a fancy way for Google to deliver ads and sell your data online freely. Reply
  • G-Man - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Is the OS itself going to be free? I would like this on my old, slow pc. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Yes, although much like Chrome versus Chromium, you'd download Chromium OS. Since it's opensource, the source has been available for some time. Google doesn't provide official builds, but the community does (and has for some time):

    http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/

    It can be booted from a USB stick, installed to a hard disk, or run from a Virtualbox or VMWare image, so it's pretty easy to try out.
    Reply
  • taltamir - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    it is free and open source... its just a google linux distro.
    The latest source has been compiled by fans and made available, so if you don't mind running alpha/beta versions you can already get it from here http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/
    Reply
  • rundll - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Make Puppy Linux fully combatible with one of these laptops.
    Anyone?
    Reply
  • mianmian - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    For personal use, even Chrome OS can do 90% of the things, the rest 10% are also important and have to be done. The limited functionality of Chrome OS is a weak point.

    But for places only offer limited functionality, such as library, this might be a good choice since it can reduce maintenance cost.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    The trick is, some people only need that 90%. Or perhaps it's a supplemental device, where it does 90%, and their desktop at home does the other 10%.

    The trick will be reducing that percentage. With a performant javascript engine and WebGL, there's little you can do with a web app that you can't do with a traditional app, the primary problem is the lack of software, which is coming along.
    Reply
  • mianmian - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Talking about JS performance, it did increase a lot in recent years(thanks Google chrome). But I do with it to be faster.

    As I was using Google doc. it is definitely no as convenient as Office(even simple copy/past). And I can see CPU usage spikes while doing simple operation (I am on a not so fast notebook). I wish JS efficiency can be improved more.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    It is still increasing, though, on the same hardware. I'm pretty much an exclusive Google Docs user, since collaboration is key to most of the document work I do. I enjoy the ability to share and co-edit any of my documents in real-time from any computer with anyone without having to have them or myself install special software. And I enjoy that it's free, a major plus for me over Microsoft Office (although not OpenOffice, which I often keep handy as a backup). So, it's convenient. It and my documents are always there wherever I am. I haven't had any trouble with copy/paste either...

    It's not perfect, and it can't compete with Microsoft Office in many respects, but there are two important factors. Firstly, that it eventually became "good enough" for me that I didn't really care about the remaining missing functionality. And secondly, that it's constantly improving. Microsoft Office 1.0 wasn't such a ball to work with either, and Google Documnts hasn't been around all that long. While I've been a user, they've already made some improvements that I really appreciated. Even simple things like the behaviour of spreadsheets when moving cells.

    I haven't found performance to be a big issue (GMail on the other hand...), but there are limitations to all things. Hopefully javascript performance will improve enough to render your older hardware more usable, but sometimes we have to take a performance hit for more abstraction, and that tradeoff can sometimes be worth it.
    Reply
  • sakanade - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    botnet.

    lol
    Reply
  • Xichekolas - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I was really excited about ChromeOS when it was announced (long ago), but now I wonder: why would I ever buy one of these over, say, an Eee Pad Transformer?

    If I'm going to be stuck with a netbook form factor and AMD E-350 prices, I might as well get an E-350 netbook and put linux and chrome (the browser) on it.

    I just don't see what niche this fills. If a Chromebook were $200, it would make sense. If it were a tablet, it would make more sense (although not as much as an Android tablet does).
    Reply
  • Ditiris - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    I'd go further than that. Chromium and Android are clearly going to compete with each other, and Android is clearly going to win. Sooner or later Google's going to realize this.

    Chromium may carve out a niche on kiosks or other single-use machines, but with the same hardware prices, it's hard to see any compelling advantage offered by Chromium.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Considering that Google is favoring web applications and Java, how would the platforms compete?

    It's not like software is exclusive to one or the other. The platform is largely irrelevant, it's all about the services provided.
    Reply
  • Sammy Sosa - Wednesday, June 08, 2011 - link

    & how many hours would it take a non-tech person to get a linux distro up and running, & how many hours per year in maintenance effort? For chrombooks the answer to those questions approaches zero. That is the benefit. Reply
  • Ethaniel - Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - link

    Call me cheap if you want but I'm not paying that for a Chromebook. And Samsung is in the lower orbit of Mars, more or less... Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Man this thing sounds like a total computer prison to me. There's nothing outside of Chrome! Just sounds scary and restricted. All claustrophobics will soon turn into "Chromophobic"! And if you get one of this at work, you know your boss has no confidence in your intelligence and capability as he tells you "Chrome will be Good Enough for you, that's why you are getting a Chromebook and a lollipop!" And it sounds more like an insult as you ask your friend "Hey so I heard you got a Chromebook?". So not cool, so lame.... EPIC FAIL!! Reply
  • Exodite - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    You don't have to use it.

    Most people would probably be just fine with a Chromebook, that's not to say everyone will be - all the time.

    Personally I work with LaTeX, develop software and enjoy playing AAA games on my computer so it's obviously not for me. My girlfriend however, who mainly uses her computer as a means of communication and blog-reading, could do perfectly fine with a Chromebook.

    Or well, she could as soon as there's some decent Skype integration - assumign there isn't already.
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Then tell me how is this better than a $300 netbook? iPad I understand, but this? hell no! Certainly not at this price! The alternatives out there simply blow this out of the water. Just just wait till when your girlfriend ask you how to put music into Chrome, how to sync it with itunes, how to put photos into this machine, then ask you why would you get one of these when there are cheaper netbook out there that can do all of the above at a cheaper price and even look similar. Reply
  • Exodite - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    It's funny you should say that, since tablets make absolutely no sense to me for exactly the reasons you cite.

    As for how this is better than a netbook... it isn't. It's different, giving a snappier experience at the cost of more limited functionality.

    Thus, it may not be your schtick - which is exactly what I was getting at to begin with.
    Reply
  • cjb110 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Not having to care about Windows Update, or Apt-get malarky?

    Not having to worry about backups? or configuration?

    Having it just work, is a big thing *if* that is the case in the real world, and well worth the tiny premium...Apple charge a lot more for the same 'promise', even after you take of the cost of their usually better class components.

    We're saying it wont do 10/20% of tasks, but so? That's still a massive market.

    tbh Googles biggest problem is that they're too far ahead (as usual), wireless network (of any kind) aren't good enough to be relied on. In the UK we have pretty good 3G coverage, but still costly priceing and stupid caps.
    Reply
  • heulenwolf - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Here here. I think Google's on to something awesome with Chromebooks. I'd like the price to come down a little to be more equal with the functionality and to see a few more form factor options, but that will come with wide user adoption.

    The idea that your average business or home user needs to be a security expert, pay all sorts of money for processing power they'll never use and applications whose potential they barely scratch the surface of, and spend half their time managing the OS and applications updates is outdated. I hope consumers see the potential to simplify their lives in this new approach and it breathes new life into the netbook market.

    Combine that with the push Google is making to simplify and improve web development platform, I think they have the potential to revitalize the PC market.
    Reply
  • Akv - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Chrome OS, the system that offers you no superior access to cloud compared to other systems, but instead restricts your use of your own computer. Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Didn't we go through the same discussion with Windows tablets vs iPad? iPad is too limited, etc... This is no different. Some people who prefer simplicity will use it, others who only care about "full functionality" won't. Reply
  • Akv - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    Offering different products for different people is ok. Restricting the use of software and hardware that are actually there is quite different.

    After all, it is a netbook with some harddisk and a Linux distro,

    And for me at least, since I travel a lot, I every now and then find myself in a situation where the internet connection is not working. For example in a foreign hotel, or when my bus changes zone. Buying something that compels me to be online before using it would be critically limiting my work capacities.

    "The network is the computer" is a cool phrase... except when you can't use the network for several hours, and you have to urgently do something.
    Reply
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  • fmaste - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    For me tablets have no keyboard and are limited by they OSes, netbooks are too dam slow to run a complete unoptimized windows and my MacBook Pro is too much for that days (60% of them) that I'm only using Chrome (Gmail (is there any other mail?), Docs, Reader, blogs, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc).

    A Chromebook would be the best thing I could add to my daily workflow. I imagine buying movie tickets, answering emails and reading news without having to wait for boot, OS and browser load times while having a nice keyboard and display. Also being able to carry comfortably it on a bag.

    The only problem I have is battery life, Chromebooks stronger weakpoint. Come on, 8 hours, we all know that we have to translate that to 5 and even 3 hours when watching videos or running Flash. Having no mechanical hard drive, only a tiny SSD, an Atom processor and a tiny OS with only a browser and no need to run any antivirus, extra software or service, battery life should be great. That machines interior should be all battery, the MacBook Air is even thinner, has a Core 2 Duo and an Nvidia 320M and more batteries.

    From the hands-on videos I saw they are very well build but can't handle HD videos, come on again Google, you own Youtube, you build Chrome, can't you optimize it with some HTML5?

    What it's really great for me is the non glossy display! Look at the Samsung Chromebook video on Amazon, it looks great. I hate glossy display and I don't understand how people could handle it, I don't know if I have some type of glossy disease or is it that there's no other option available, my MacBook is unusable unless I'm inside a cave.

    I think they are costly, but better than a tablet at the same price!
    Reply
  • Ninhalem - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    I have been using ChromeOS for the past 5 months or so, and all this talk about the battery life being low is, in my opinion, not true, at least in my case. The test machine lasts for about ten hours in practical use: reading Anandtech, Arstechnica, working with documents and email, and finally reading webcomics and manga.

    The only qualm I originally had and still have with the netbook is that anemic GPU that doesn't allow me to stream Hulu decently.

    If I look at this from a strictly business and everyday work point of view, you don't need (and frankly shouldn't be using) anything more powerful to do your work. Emails, document handling, and the occasional research is about what every regular person does during the day. Now most people who read this site don't fall into this category, so it's probably not for you, but don't go saying this is crap simply because Google doesn't design to your needs. Everyone I've worked with professionally would love to have a computer like this, instead of the slow, clunky pieces of crap that are most of the enterprise machines.
    Reply
  • fmaste - Saturday, May 14, 2011 - link

    I which computer have you been using ChromeOS?

    The just announced Samsung Chromebooks specs say 8 hours of battery life.
    Reply
  • akse - Monday, May 16, 2011 - link

    Expensive piece of hardware considering its basically a screen, keyboard and a browser.

    I'd rather see a lightweight linux distro that has same sort of browser functionality for ease of use and if you need more you could open a menu where you have normal pc features.
    Reply
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  • psiboy - Monday, May 23, 2011 - link

    It's still an Atom... Epic Fail on Googles part.... If they had gone with AMD Brazos I would be very keen.... Shame on you Google for using that crap! Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - link

    Next revision probably, I'm sure these have been in development much longer than Brazos has been out.

    And yeah, unless they can guarantee a killer screen or some other feature they seem too expensive relative to netbooks. At $429 I think I'd be looking more at something like the Transformer.
    Reply

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