Google's Chrome OS Aims to Speed Up Netbooks

Look for Google’s lightweight, browser-based operating system to debut on mobile systems sometime in 2010.

A few weeks ago, Google unveiled what it's hoping will be the new standard in netbook operating systems: Chrome OS. Based on Linux, Chrome OS is a fast, low-overhead OS that boots directly into a Web browser to get you online with as little waiting as possible. We've been running an early version of Chrome OS on our test systems since Google released the code to the open-source community. Here's a peek at what you can expect to see when preinstalled systems debut for the 2010 holiday season.

Because Chrome OS runs exclusively on solid-state drives, it boots extremely quickly. The early build we played with took as little as 7 seconds to reach a login screen, and then snapped almost instantly into the browser.

Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS offers few controls that you can't already find in Google's Chrome Web browser. The most significant difference is the Chrome icon in the upper-left corner, which reveals a list of bookmarked Web apps. It's as close as Chrome OS gets to installing software. While the inability to install apps as Windows does can be a limitation, it's also a safeguard against viruses and malware: If apps can't install, neither can Trojan horses and other nasty bits of code.

Like the Chrome Web browser, Chrome OS is tab-based. However, to keep your favorite Web apps handy at login, the OS gives you the option to pin tabs to the left side of the tab bar. Once pinned, a tab remains in the same location every time you log on, so it's always exactly where you left it.

Apart from a battery icon, a clock, and a network monitor in the upper-right corner, the operating system is identical to the existing Chrome browser for Windows. The whole idea is simplicity, and that's exactly what you get.

No Chrome OS devices have yet debuted on the market, and none are expected before the second half of 2010. Acer has declared that it will be among the first manufacturers--if not the very first--to release a netbook with Google's operating system preinstalled. Meanwhile, Chrome OS already has some competition from the FusionGarage JooJoo, a 12.1-inch tablet device running a similar browser-oriented OS.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Cloudnetbookschrome

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Strohmeyer

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?