This article was published on November 19, 2009

The Chrome OS Event Live Blog

The Chrome OS Event Live Blog
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

As it comes in, new updates at the bottom:

There is no beta for Chrome OS, we are still a year away from that. Today was a demo of the progress made, thus far in the project. The OS is now open source, and Google engineers will be working in the same tree as open source developers.

Chrome is the very basis of all the work in Chrome OS. There are now 40 million people using Chrome as their main browser. Chrome was built for speed, simplicity, and secure. It is much faster than IE8, of course, but Google wanted to hammer it home.

According to Google, the number one bit of feedback is that Chrome is damned fast, shockingly. Chrome has been updated about 20 times in the last year. The Chrome team is pusing very, very hard on HTML5.

Chrome for Mac is moving very quickly towards launch, and Chrome for Linux is coming along. Extensions are also almost ready. The good news, is that extensions will auto-update, Firefox be damned.

The Chrome team wanted the ability to run rich games in the browser, necessitating access to the GPU. Chrome wanted to take advantage of multi-core processors as well. Web applications also needed to work offline, and access to all the peripherals that users use.

All of the above API’s will be coming soon, and will mesh with HTML 5 standards.

Netbooks have exploded, in the worst recession since the great depression. That makes sense, they are dirt cheap. Chrome OS team loves this, as it means that people are moving towards the cloud, for their main computing environment. Web applications are the new hot thing, if you want a new capability, it will be a web app.

The internet is the most successful application platform there is. As phones become more poweful, and laptops become more like netbooks, we are seeing some form of convergence in the middle.

Looking at this, Chrome OS is the middle app, that encapsulates the trends. Chrome OS will focus on speed, simpliciyt, and secure. Just like Chrome. It will boot nearly instantly, that is the goal, to turn on like a TV.

Chrome on Chrome OS will be even faster than on Windows.

Every application that is on Chrome, is a web application. Therefore users never have to install applications, ever. Simple. Dead simple. Ususally with a new OS, users are very confused Chrome OS is a browser, more or less.

All data in Chrome OS is in the cloud.

Security: everything is web app, so security can be fundamentally changed. Of course, you can never make a system 100% secure. Given that you cannot install binariries, the system is inherently more secure. All inside the browser model.

– DEMO –

The boot time for the OS is around 7 seconds. Three seconds to an app. Trying to make it shorter. Chrome OS looks like Chrome, shockingly. The product is still a year from release, but the code is still coming in all the time. The team had to freeze development to get the built set for the demo.

In Chrome OS there are application tabs, that  can be pinned to the top bar. Think of it as the Windows 7 launch bar. The application tabs are always in the same place, so Gmail is always fast to find.

On the top left hand side of the OS, there is an “application tab,” where you can discover new applications.

Panels are persistent lightweight windows, the panel stays up at all times. Think of them as tiny application windows, and will be automatically managed by Chrome OS. Chat is a good example of a use for a panel.

Notepad will be in Chrome OS, which will save all its data will be in the cloud. Of course, will that storage be free? Not clear at the moment. Final use case for Panels:  music playing in the panel.

Back to the app menu,  there is Hulu, LaLa, Chess, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The idea is to make the OS flexible enough to allow it to be an actual carry around device. This buries the Crunchpad, easily. A good element of the app area, is the ability to read books in Chrome OS, right on your netbook. There is an app just for scanned Google books.

Flash works in Chrome OS, right now.

You can have multiple instances of Chrome running, and manage the total Chrome instances that you have open. You can even drag and drop tabs from one instance of Chrome to the next.

The Chrome OS team is trying to cover a wide number of use case scenarios. It is more than just a browser, for example if you plug in a flash drive with an Excel File, it will open with Windows Live Excel. Excellent.

The app network is open, no horrible Apple approval bs. If you build it for the web, you can use it on Chrome OS. All web developers are now Chrome OS developers.

That covers the features so far, they will now give a run through of the “under the hood elements.”

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