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ryan

What do you think?

Well, now that you have Chrome OS -- and if you don't, just head here and grab it: gdgt.com­/google­/chrome­-os­/download/ -- what do you think?

I know it's super early on and we can look forward to a full year's worth of refinement before this is going to be released as a consumer product, but is this thing going to work? Will people really buy into Google's vision that you can run a computer with absolutely nothing other than a network connection and a single browser?

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66 replies
chadhuber

I think its pretty cool in terms of the developer modes that we currently have access to. There is a lot of back-end stuff that we get to see now (and hopefully in one form or another in the actual release).

Other than that its pretty much a browser... and its running in virtual box for me so its not that fast - scratch that, its slow.
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ryaninc

I think that if Chrome OS works as well and as smoothly as Google claims it will, then it will take the netbook market by storm. When I look at what I use my computer for, easily 90% of it already takes place in the browser. I also have a wall-mounted touchscreen computer in the kitchen that Chrome OS would be amazing for. What we use that computer for is 100% web stuff, and speed is key. There is most definitely a place for a web-based OS like this. And if it catches on, it will only push web developers to create more powerful web apps, which will be a win for everyone.
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roytanck

I think this is great for netbooks, tablets and other devices that aren't your main work PC. Netbooks have been let down by the software they run from day one. I got mine with Windows, later switched to Linux, but you really don't want to have to attend to things like software updates on a secondary PC.

At the same time, all I ever do with it is online. I use Gmail as my primary address, so I usually only run Tweetdeck and Chrome (the browser). So for me as a user, Chrome OS sounds great. Especially since it boots so very fast.
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adamz

I suppose if all you ever do is Gmail and browse web pages it might be okay, but it seems to me the whole internet-only "netbook" idea never caught on. It turns out people actually want inexpensive netbook-sized real computers that run Windows. Well over 90% of the people, that is.

To me, Chrome OS sounds a lot like Web TV; good for newbies and extremely limited... like a toaster. I think people will realize its limitations just like they realized the limitations of Linux on netbooks... as soon as they try to do anything more advanced. By the time this comes out, there will be plenty of high-power, inexpensive, light-weight, mini-PCs running full Windows 7 and I see little reason to get such a limited Google thin client that requires constant network access.
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rhinojosa

What a great analogy comparing it to WebTV! I had forgotten about this. All hype and then splat!

Personally I think they should've gone with and focused on the Android platform, then sold it as a buy once model, see your same app work on your phone and your Android OS desktop. There would be more synergy that way.

The only way I see this working is if TV Manufacturers begin to put this into TV's and not netbooks.
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adamz

A friend's Twitter post reminded me that Microsoft actually did this exact same thing 10 years ago with the MSN Companion... a lightweight Browser-only internet appliance!

bit.ly­/4umMEh
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JasonK

With Google's slew of free online software, they are indeed well on their way of taking over the market. If they do this right and improve on their existing products to integrate better with the OS (Picasa, Calendar, Wave, Docs), it could quite possibly be the next greatest mobile platform. No one expects this to replace Windows or OS X for desktop computing, and I am sure that professionals in various fields will not take a second glance at this OS unless their specific software needs are met (which I highly doubt).

There is only one major drawback I can see with Chrome OS (and cloud computing in general). WiFi is, unfortunately, not available everywhere, and not all of the available WiFi connections are free or accessible by everyone. In the U.S., 3G coverage is sorely lacking in many parts, and cell phone tethering is an expensive (or, in the case of the iPhone, nonexistent) option.

Google can do many things right, but I think this OS is a little too early to the party. Here's hoping that Google's OS will enjoy success and bring about many changes to the existing mobile broadband solutions.
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chrometoday

I have vmware player, but can't open the vmdk file without a vmx file... any advice?
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hatmike

Try VirtualBox instead.
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johnraythomas

Someone has posted this .vmx text file. I've used it successfully.
ja.pastebin.ca­/1679192
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trashinator

VB rocks, i just installed it.

It takes up a lot of CPU at the time, but works
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brett

Seems like it's exactly as they described. I feel like it could catch on with netbooks but I feel like the people that buy them might not REALLY know what they are getting into. I feel like they will look for something like solitaire and be confused when they realize fully that it is 100% browser. They might be disappointed that they can't download programs like the want or do the same things they did with their old OS in the same way. Things like importing and storing images/music will be done differently and I feel like it might confuse a lot of people.

All that said, I think I could have a netbook running this. If they optimize it as well as they say they can, I'm hoping for fantastic battery life. I could easily use this on a netbook for the whole day if I'm out and about and don't have any design work that needs to get done.

It will be really hard to judge until we start seeing the offline implementation and the apps.
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Likegadgets

At this stage there is absolutely nothing to talk about - this is just a simple boot-loder for Chrome browser.
Try changing the screen resolution in this "os" :-)
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StRyDeRxX

This is unusable if you can't change the resolution. I'm actually posting this message within Google OS. It seems that the default resolution is 640X480 16bit color. Not good. I also don't see anyway to power down or shut off. Oh well... I'll just suspend the session until someone figures out the details.
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aashishl

I agree, if you can't change the resolution then this OS is virtually useless. And how is the world do I shut this thing down?
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ssstraub

Push the power button. I'm not being snarky--You don't need to bother with "proper" shut downs while using a stateless OS. That's a benefit!
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ssstraub

It's meant to come pre-installed on the hardware with a custom BIOS. Why would you need to adjust the resolution? It will be set to whatever is native for the display.
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Likegadgets

Fast booting and fixed resolution - exactly like Commodore 64 25 years ago :-)

But what happens if I want to attach an external monitor to that "computer" ?
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trevorl

I think it took me about 5 minutes of using it to decide I'd rather use Chrome ON an OS rather than AS an OS.
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StRyDeRxX

How do you shutdown or reboot this thing?
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ssstraub

Power button.
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herrvan

Franchement c'est nul cet OS. Autant jute exécuter des applications web dans Chome ou dans un autre navigateur et ce, sur windows, mac os ou linux. Franchement sans intérêt. Déjà Andoid était vraiment pas extraordinaire, là c'est franchement inutile en l'état.
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jonv

As expected the OS is Linux Kernel with Google Chrome and little else. With lots of data now living in 'the cloud' many usual functions should be achievable.
One thing that puzzled me was how to move content from one web app to another - especially if it was not a google app. It turns out that Chromium has a download folder so I was able to log into dropbox, download a word file and the upload to google docs.
For a permanently connected device (desktop, settop box, TV?) Chromium could work very well. For mobile / netbook use I think some way to edit documents / download pics from camera when no connection is available is essential.
Images here: jonv.posterous.com­/google­-chromium­-os­-pics
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stevenik

I really don't grasp the intrigue.
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hatmike

Seems like a scheme cooked up by a company that makes money when you're on the web (and makes nothing when you aren't) and hardware manufacturers who want to make sure netbooks remain secondary systems. People keep throwing out that '90 percent of the time in the browser,' but are you ready to give up the other ten percent for no reason at all?
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mattalexander

I was really excited to try it out, but I found myself bored of it after a few minutes. It's essentially like trying out Google Chrome on a Mac, without the fixed tabs. Of course, I realize that it will grow over the next year, but really, how much room is there for growth from here? Although this is a fairly rough build, what we are looking at is a foundation for an OS that is unlikely to change. In the end, I think Chrome OS will find some degree of success, but not as much as Android. Where Android took some time to catch on, I think Google will expect the same from Chrome OS, but I believe they will be disappointed. At this point, I can't really see many people using this. Maybe it will find success in internet cafes? Honestly, I don't really know what to make of it at this point.
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AldoP

Chrome is perfect for my Mom.
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jyoung4225

Pretty anti-climatic. Of course this is just a developer preview and so not an indication of what the final product will look and feel like. It'll be interesting to see how the product evolves.
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merkuralex

It seems like this OS is more of a personal computer OS not really for business or "hardcore" users.

Or maybe a secondary device for personal usage and casual usage.
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ssstraub

They pretty clearly stated this is to be used as a secondary OS. And I'm very doubtful it has ever been intended for anything but personal use.
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FatCookies

Chrome OS fails epically.
xPUD is still beta and it is so much better.
It doesnt just boot into a browser, it has a proper interface.
It boots in the same time as chrome
its 50mb; not 300...
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MarioBro

Does not run for me. Just get a black screen and nothing more using the VBox version.
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testone

It is quite useless right now.
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rankinaaron

I commend the effort, but as someone said earlier, Chrome is a little early to the party, but that just means it's up to Chrome to get the party started. Full-fledged cloud computing is still a good 5 or 10 years down the road if you ask me. The cloud simply isn't hefty enough at this point. But this is an effort to innovate and I respect that.
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nomadman

Has anyone gotten the virtualbox version to run at all on an MBP? I am not inclined to install a demo version of vmware in order to get an alpha version of chrome os to work.

MBP 3,1
2gig memory
VirtualBox 3.0.12 r54655

VirtualBox setting: qkpic.com­/408c7
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jonv

Yes but needed to use the vmware image (which VirtualBox can read)
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nomadman

Thank Pal. It worked!
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zxspectrum

Its just an overrated browser. Everthing that google make is half baked...its similar to Microsoft but worse.
..

Too Little Too Soon

.
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wesg

I compiled and ran it in VM Ware and couldn't really understand what it's all about. The current builds available to the public are pretty far behind what Google showed earlier this week. It really is just a browser... it doesn't even have an on/off button!
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rorie

Shame on all yo play haters.

Envisage a future where you don't need a file manager or start menu to find your applications, files or folders, because everything is in the cloud. That future is here.

Sure, if you want to zap some alien dudes in "Half Life 4: Now they want to eat your lab-coat" then you might need to keep a dedicated machine to game on, but for composing, editing, viewing, surfing, listening, etc all we need is a browser.

Google need to hurry up and get this to the OEM market. It seriously threatens Microsoft's crown, and the strength of the Google brand may tempt more users to open source software.

If you want a fully functioning OS for your netbook straight away try Ubuntu 9.10 NBR. You can even install the Chromium browser and pretend you are running the Google OS if you want.
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rogerbond

Cannot change screen resolution. Don't see a power button for proper shutdown. Normaly blocks after ~5 Minutes of working. But I can see a huge potential. Especially the cloud is great implemented. It's what I will see more in future from any vendor.
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digekas

The majority of internet users will just love it. 20 years ago a computer user was most probably a programmer too. Things have changed since then. Now everyone has a computer and most average users need a simple stable operating system with low hardware requirements. For them chrome os is the way. :)

Just downloaded the chrome-os-0.4.22.8-bootable-usb zip file and started playing with it.

From package_list_installed.txt file we can see many references to ubuntu deb packages installed, so perhaps we can say that chrome-os is ubuntu based.

On my ubuntu desktop i can simply mount the rootfs.image and start running the applications that are on that image (chrome browser for example... :))

My humble opinion is that a lightweight linux based operating system will take away the need for a antivirus/antispyware/antirootkit (and so on...) and let the cpu free of that load to run smoothly the web browser.

This is the future and as far as i am concerned, it is most welcome. :)

PS: Linux rocks ;)
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smerickson

I'm not interested in running Chrome OS on my netbook. I could care less about fast boot times or a mild boost in battery life. Installing Windows 7 or OSX gives me much more functionality. The only two devices I would be interested in installed Chrome OS on are my TV and a tablet.
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diomark

I can't get the networking to work under vmware 6.5:( Haven't tried vmware player with it yet..

vmware workstation 6.5 complains that the OS hardware is intended for vmware 5 and doesn't allow networking.
-m
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nrz666

IMHO the popularity of the ChromeOS download is because of one thing: brand name. What's actually behind it? Extremely simplified Ubuntu Karmic kernel and its graphic subsystem, completed with a Chrome browser modification. That's great, yeh? But who said that we can't remaster any existing distribution (e.g. Karmic itself) and do the same by ourselves? What's actually new in the idea of web-based operating system? Google aren't first with this idea, they're not last too. The only savior for them is netbooks and thin clients OEM-supply. That is what they're looking forward to. That's true Microsoft way :) But those who prefer Unix-way will replace it with more sophisticated distributions that nevertheless will remain as simple as Chrome.
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robin850

Most of the time I am using a computer (desktop or laptop) it is online or at least has Internet available if i want it.
I believe this OS will resonate with the average user, but only if a few things are dealt with:

1) price. in the end, Google wants to get a lot of people using this. it will have to be very very cheap.

2) security. the security needs to prevent the user from infecting themselves and from deleting system critical files.

3) local storage / offline use: users need to be able to compose offline Gmail and documents and save them to a usb or other local storage device.

4) cheap cloud storage

i wish them luck! when can i pre-order my Chrome netbook?!
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Excelsius

Splashtop?

I think it's a great initiative of Google making an OS. But what I would like to know, i have experienced
Splashtop (provided by Asus (basic applications CD), instant access to internet after pressing powerbutton but not to your harddrive (i am actually wondering, if anyone here heard of it)), isn't Google OS just that but than smarter/more advanced? Or will you still have access to your data (explorer?) ?

I would like to recommend that you at least install Splashtop and have looked at it, when you are testing Google OS, I really get the idea that that is where google is looking at. And Splashtop is quit usefull anyway...
(www.splashtop.com­/open­_source.php)

I use it when for example when I am in a rush, and quikly want to know for example if there are any changes in my timetable for school or when I want to know which bus I have to take or where. It is actually quit similar to browser Chrome but than instant after powerbutton (!!!). I also wonder why google hasn't been able to do just the same..........
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rggavgad

I installed it on on USB for my Acer Aspire One. It works great and I like it. It is quick, simple and very small. Only problems so far are that there is no shut down button...must power off the netbook. Also, the touchpad doesn't work.
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riemaxi

Guys

I have downloaded and installed WMWare and chrome os image file (wmdk). I unzipped the chrome os zip file and it has extension wmdk which WMware wont recognize.

Is it something I should know or read?

I am sorry for my ignorance.

//rmx
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