Chromebooks; Google Declares War With Microsoft With Launch Of Chrome OS Laptops

Yesterday, Google, the world’s most important technology company set out its contempt for computing as we know it. Google declared at their I/O developer event in San Francisco that after six months in which only a prototype was available, laptops running Google’s Chrome operating system will finally go on sale in June for consumers, businesses and education.

Google Chrome OS relies on all your services being accessible via the cloud. The new Web-centric PCs, made by Samsung and Acer Inc, are Google’s latest attempt to change how consumers and companies use their computers. “Attributes that make phones and tablets great…we’re bringing this to notebooks“, Google said.

The laptops will coordinate tightly with Google’s “cloud” online services, and have almost no capacity to store information. Instead, the bare-bones operating system is essentially a web browser that steers users to applications like email and spreadsheets directly on the web, rather than storing software such as Outlook or Word directly on PCs.

The operating system and Chromebook PCs thrive on Google’s web browser, also called Chrome, that competes against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

What are Chrome OS Powered Chromebooks?

– A laptop running on Chrome OS starts in about seven seconds. Now try to beat that record.
– A good device, such as the Samsung model unveiled yesterday, will have 10 hours of laptop battery life.
– Every time you turn it on, the software will check online to see if there are updates, and it will always boot up with the latest version.
– If there’s a catastrophic failure, for whatever reason, it will simply reinstall itself.
– Any documents are backed up online – in the “cloud” – and restored from the web.
Ability to link to web apps for uploading images, videos and other multimedia.
–  Speed, simplicity and security – the magic balance that many users have wanted from technology.

Chromebook Specs:

– Pricing starts at $349 (Acer)
– Web-centric Chrome OS, automatically updated, maintained by Google
– About 3 pounds or less
– Dual-core Atom 1.66GHz N570 processor
– 16GB solid-state drive (mSATA)
– HDMI port
– 11-inch and 12-inch class displays
– All-day battery life (Samsung and Acer specify about 10 hours)
– Instant-on
– Instant Web connectivity
– 3G connectivity, pay as you go
– Cloud-based apps, but key applications local like Gmail and Google Docs

On the downside, not everybody is online all the time. When Chrome OS is not connected to the web, the Chromebook becomes unusable. In fact, Google Chrome OS is pure Internet all the way. There’s no option to minimize the browser to see a traditional desktop. In a nutshell, it can’t run Skype, it can’t run Photoshop, and it simply isn’t the best machine for a power user.

Like them or hate them, Chrome laptops – Chromebooks – will be available from mid-June across Europe and in America. And they are priced around $349.

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