Summing Up Google Chrome OS Event – Video Within

I was invited to Google Chrome OS event. Initially, I thought there would be quite a big crowd but I was surprised that only a handful of us were there (about 10). The event was a very short one and it was held at the 38th floor of Google Office. Here is a nice view from their office.

The event started with Caesar Sengupta, Product Management Director, of Google giving us an insight of how Google Chrome OS was conceptualize and the future for Google Chrome OS.

Here is a simple comparison of current OS against Chrome OS.

Caesar also touch on Google Chrome Browser. If you look closely, you will realize that Google Chrome browser and Chrome OS are very similar. According to Caesar, if you already know Google Chrome browser, you will need to learn another 5% to be able to use the Chrome OS efficiently.

BTW, 1 year after the launch of Google Chrome browser, there are already 40 million users and 19 stable releases or updates.

Google is currently working with Top OEM partners on the hardware for Chrome OS. It will be optimize for Chrome OS usage. Google Chrome OS will be ready for release by end of this year.

How does Chrome OS work?

Chrome OS (based on the demo) works like and feel like a browser. Once you boot it up, you feel that you are in Chrome browser. There is a icon menu for you to choose applications. Most of the application are web-based. You will need to rely on Internet connection to use them.

You can present Powerpoint presentation, edit your Excel sheet on Google Chrome OS using Internet-based tools. There are tabs that you can easily switch and the Chrome OS is very clean. At the time of writing, Google has a set of short cuts that you can call out. However, Google has not decided if they are going to be fixed.

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Caesar went on to talk about Security and I was surprised to hear that Google Chrome “don’t trust anything at all”. It will “question” them to ensure that things are OK. For example, during a boot up (using Google Security – Verify boot), if some issues encountered, it will request a reboot to try again. Nothing is taken to chance.

Demo Time

We were given a demo on the Chrome OS itself and it works fast. As curious onlookers, we wanted to test out the boot up speed. Caesar was more than happy to show it to us. Here is a short video clip.

It took about 14 seconds to boot up. However, do note that the hardware is not an optimized one for Google Chrome OS. In actual fact, the boot up speed targeted for Google Chrome OS is 7 seconds.

The ideal hardware should be similar to netbook and may be with a 16GB SSD.

Caesar also talked about connectivity. He demoed how easy it is to share pictures on the Chrome OS with his Nexus One phone.

We were not allow to take the picture of the computer hardware as it is not the actual optimized one that will be running Chrome OS. (Anyway, I can’t find any brand on it)

Here is a close up of the hardware (side view) with Nexus One.

Q&A

We were given time to ask questions. Here are some interesting ones (in my own words).

How does Google see Companies adopting to Google Chrome OS after the launch?

  • Google answered that they are expecting a trend like Google Apps. And they expect small to medium companies to be the early adopters.
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What is the expectation of battery life from Google Chrome OS laptops?

  • Around 7 – 8 hours.

When will Google Chrome OS be launched?4

  • Late Second half of 2010

Will Chrome be able to support the drivers of current printers

  • Google is working on it with a solution. However, Google mentioned that Chrome OS or laptop with Chrome OS is not designed (or envision) to have so many peripherals connected to it.

With Internet connectivity as a very important aspect on Chrome OS, how does Google going to handle the various drivers from Mobile Modem (e.g. Huawei Stick Modem).

  • Google is working on it.

Some other interesting things about Google Chrome OS

  • Hardware similar to Netbook. May have Pine Trail or ARM processor
  • Automatic updates for Chrome OS
  • Need Google Account to use Chrome OS
  • Once shut down, the device can boot up in the same state as when you shut down.
  • If you use another Chrome device and log on to your account, you can maintain the state when you are on Chrome OS account.

After thoughts

Chrome is a light and fast OS. At the moment, I believe Big enterprise will adopt the wait and see approach to use Chrome OS. As it is an open source project, it means that companies can save on license fees.

I see early adopters will use it as a secondary laptop to surf the net or perform simple task or play Internet Flash games. As the Chrome OS mature, we may see some small to medium companies adopting it (as we can see the take up rate of Gmail as the corporate email now as compared to previously when it was launched).

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I expect the Chrome OS hardware to have at least some card slots for popular media. And most importantly, MUST have a SIM Card slot for 3G connectivity. I will think that most people will also be using tethering method to connect to the Internet as this is the current trend and mobile modem manufacturers may not be fast enough to provide the drivers to use its product on Chrome OS.

With a small SSD capacity, Skydrive should become very popular and more options will appear.

I love Chrome browser. So, when Chrome OS come about, I have pretty high hope that it can take off smoothly. 🙂

What do you think?

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