Google’s Chrome OS

Google has announced that it is releasing an Open Source operating system soon. True geek stuff below. It is currently in alpha stages of testing, so don’t expect anything for another year. The video above is a very good beginners explanation of what they are trying to do. And I thoroughly applaud the effort. I personally don’t have any problem caring for my families phalanx of digital toys, but I’m the exception. Most people I know, even the most educated, struggle with their tech equipment, most especially their computers.

Imagine a computer that works more like a TV. It starts instantly. It never slows down. All of the system updates, file storage, applications and the like are all in the cloud. It just connects instantly to the internet, allowing email, photos, IM’s and Facebook updates to flow freely. This is a perfect set-up for the casual user of digital technology, and will keep 95% of everyone happy.

This is the culmination of the fear that Microsoft first had when they discovered that Netscape’s Navigator and Mosaic had API’s independent of their flagship operating system, Windows. Microsoft immediately knew that its supremacy was under attack, and launched its completely free Internet Explorer to maintain a hold over this dangerous possibility.

The Chrome OS is not for me (I don’t trust other people to hold my data, thank you; and I can keep my multiple computers and servers working independent of any outside help), but dang this is for almost everyone else. It will solve a million headaches (“Ed, my computer is slow. Is it a virus? How can you fix that?”).

chrome_OS_steussy

Chrome OS running at the Steussy Ranch

There is a nice explanation on how to experiment with the alpha Chrome OS on TechCrunch (hat tip to Slashdot, who else?). I got it up and running in 15 minutes, and it opened a lot of doors. I hadn’t known about the VirtualBox Open Source virtual environment before, but trust me it will see a lot of use in the future. I’ve been very frustrated with Parallels for years, as they seem to break something essential in each and every system update, be it their system, Apple’s system or Microsoft’s. I think it’s better to keep the OS and the Virtual Machine in Open Source to avoid one leg of those difficulties. I’ll experiment more after Thanksgiving.

Dang, the future looks awesome!

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