Google Chrome OS Reviewed

Cory Blog, Mac, Software, Web

Google Chrome, the browser, has been out for some time. It offers a spin on browsing- a cleaner, more streamline, google way of browsing. Besides its incredible speed, the next best thing is that the address bar is also the search bar. Currently it’s only available for Windows, but if you’re Mac, you can find a preview version of it (still in beta). It’s kinda hard to find so you can download it from me, here.

This last month, Google released Chrome OS (operating system) to developers. Google plans on targeting netbooks with their OS because it’s fast and small-perfect for netbooks. Google’s aim is to get you booted up and on the internet as fast as possible, ready to use any of its web apps. And since Google has all sorts of web applications, it seems fitting that they would want to point you in that direction. They are embracing the internet trend (as stated more correctly, they usually SET internet trends) of “cloud computing” where everything is stored and done on the internet. Just look at Google Docs- a powerful suit of free “office-like” apps, all on the internet.

Well, as far as the Google OS goes, I wanted to give it a try. I happened upon martijndevisser.com who wrote an article about running Chrome OS as a virtual machine using Parallels for Mac. It was pretty straight forward and a few minutes later I was running Chrome, the operating system.

My reaction? Blah.

Yes, it boots up right into the internet, right into… well, Chrome. And…that’s it, minus the “fancy” log in screen. I wanted to see what was behind the browser, thinking that if I closed it or at least minimized it, I would see a twist on the Windows “Start” button or maybe a dock-like interface with more apps and settings. But…nope. There’s no “X” or close button on the browser. All I could try was to close every tab until it went away. The first time I tried it, it just went to blue blank screen. The second time I tried it, the browser closed and then restarted itself. So amazingly, there’s no desktop, no icons, no dock, no log off or shut down button. Simple and plain, I guess.

I’ll spare you from too much excitement and just show you the screen shots. They’re amazing:

So my advice? If you want to try out Google Chrome OS, just download Chrome, the browser. It really is a sweet browser, with or without it’s own operating system.

Be sure to see my post Windows 7 Beta on MacBook Pro for more information on running Parallels on a Mac.

UPDATE: Google Chrome has finally been released officially from Google, but it’s still in beta. As my friend Jason pointed out to me either, it’s still missing java, but “in due time I suppose.” More features to come.