I’m starting a week of using the Chrome OS to fully experience what can and can’t be done with this cloud based OS.
Basically, the Chrome OS is the Chrome web browser by Google put on a very light weight linux build. Google is positioning Chrome OS to be a Netbook OS that can be deployed on inexpensive hardware. It relies on being connected to the Internet to operate, although, it’s supposed to be able to be used without being connected. I have yet to try that but I’m sure I will get to this week.
I received a Google CR48 netbook though the Chrome OS Pilot program about a week ago. It was real easy to setup. All I had to do was to turn it on, and sign in with my google account. (If you don’t have a google account, it will take you though the steps to get one). If you have a gmail address, you have an account. The first thing you will notice is chrome OS looks just like any computer with the chrome browser running full screen. One other thing you will notice is there is no way to close the browser. This is because it is the only thing that will run. There is a settings panel that you can get into to setup your wireless network (either Wifi or Verizon CDMA 3G). Other then that, there is nothing more to do.
In the browser you can install all the addons that you can get for the Chrome browser for Mac or Windows. I started out with Lasspass and Xmarks. That way I didn’t have to remember my passwords and all my bookmarks were there from my other computers.
There is a chrome “app” store. Really it’s just a fancy way of putting bookmarks to webapps in the opening screen.
My use of a laptop when I’m not traveling is limited to easy chair duty. I normally use a white Macbook running OS X and mostly use the firefox browser. This week, I’m going to keep the Macbook in the bag and use this CR48. I will report back to let you know how the week goes.
So far, on day 1, I have worked on (and by the time you read this), posted a blog post. Read and replied to many emails and will later on, work on a book project I’m working on. Of course, I’ve also checked the weather, read my news and blog feeds via Google Reader. Checked my facebook and posted a couple of twitters. So far, so good.
*** Note: While trying to post this blog entry, I found a limitation of the Chrome OS. I don’t know how to upload a photo for the post (which I normally do). If I figure it out, you will see it on my next post. ***