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Weasel War Dance 02-11-2011 08:52 PM

Google Chrome OS - Thoughts?
 
Hey, folks. This is a place for discussion of Google's Chrome OS: users of the OS as well as people who have simply kept an eye on it are welcome to voice their opinions.
I'll try and keep my personal opinion of Chrome OS away, at least for the first post.

What is the good and the bad? Do you like their approach to things, or is its philosophy not your cup of tea? Are you just excited that a new Linux operating system is going to potentially become mainstream?

Personally, I have not yet tested Chrome OS, but I have read reviews of it as well as done some of my own research. I recently checked their website, which inspired me to make this thread. So, what are your thoughts on Chrome OS?

Ahh, and some links, for those interested in learning more about it:
Chrome OS official site; Features: http://www.google.com/chromeos/features.html
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Chrome_OS

Kenny_Strawn 02-11-2011 09:28 PM

Incredible in my opinion. Why? Read on.

---------- Post added 2011-02-11 at 19:29 ----------

FYI: I'm posting this on a Cr-48.

Weasel War Dance 02-11-2011 10:07 PM

I'm talking more about the user experience, not who benefits monetarily from it. Is it pleasant to use? Is it full-featured and easily and/or greatly customisable; or is it rather over-simplified? How about the stability and general look and feel? If it's entirely app-based and rather like an iPhone in that respect, it probably wouldn't be my cup of tea.
I'm curious as to if I should even bother testing it out, since some of the 'benefits' it points out frankly sound revolting to me. If that comes across as a strange statement, let me give a couple examples:

(from the Features list I linked above) Forever fresh: "The web evolves rapidly. Your Chrome notebook evolves with it. Every time you turn it on, it upgrades itself with the latest features and fixes. Annoying update prompts not included."

To me, update prompts were never annoying, and I quite like knowing what is being changed when something is updated. On top of knowing what will change, I think it's the users' right to say "no" when they would rather not have something updated. It'd be like having Fedora on autopilot: sure the latest would be at your fingertips, but that could come along with bugs and snags that you'd rather not deal with.

(from the Wikipedia page, also linked above) "The user interface takes a minimalist approach, resembling that of the Chrome web browser. Because Google Chrome OS is aimed at users who spend most of their computer time on the Internet, the only application on the device will be a browser incorporating a media player."

For some users, this could be a phenomenal choice; and a simple, easy-to-use one for anybody.
For me, this sends off a red flag in my mind. Being stuck on a browser as the OS's sole application would be to shut oneself into a box. A large, nice-looking and roomy box, but a box however. I am not saying I know everything about this OS, because I sure as heck don't, but so far I don't like what I'm seeing from their approach. It certainly wouldn't suit me, but it could be great for others.
I am someone who likes to know what's going on with my system, and I enjoy learning how to do new things. I'm not sure how much system monitoring and the like would be achievable in a browser, or as a lesser issue, the amount of customisation it would allow. If I'm wrong on any point or if you have something to add, feel free to point it out.

Kenny_Strawn 02-11-2011 11:03 PM

Well it may be browser-based, but it can install any HTML-based apps, not just run Web apps remotely. For example, the Launchpad, Ubuntu One, Fiabee, Quickrr, Chrome Player, SourceKit, Calculatoure, 5calc, and Write Space apps all install inside Chrome as extensions and are accessed as local Web pages, under the URL "chrome-extension://<weird autogenerated string>". And yet they can run offline but update when you get back online.

And for me, I have never experienced that many breaks, in fact none at all so far, even while running a version of Chrome OS from the Dev Channel on my Cr-48. I can log in all the time, I can do what I need to do, I can even run all my apps without many issues (okay, I do admit that just now, the sound suddenly became permanently muted while I was watching a video, but that is the ONLY issue I have ever had).

Weasel War Dance 02-12-2011 07:02 AM

Ahh, that makes sense to allow users to work offline if need be. Thanks for the feedback. :)

Out of curiosity, since their site does not seem to mention anything about it: Does Chrome OS have a viable office suite, comparable to, say, Openoffice or MS Office? Basically, is it feasible to get office-type work done on it? And if everything is browser based, is it possible to have multiple different programs on the screen simultaneously, or are they limited to being in separate tabs? I sometimes find myself with about six different things on the same screen, and it'd be a hard transition for me to have to click tabs in order to multi-task.

I feel I should ask, since it's bound to be asked at one point anyway: Is the gaming experience crippled in Chrome OS? I don't imagine it'd (yet) have software like Wine despite being a Linux OS, so playing games from a disk would be out of the question. But how about just games that can go completely full-screen, like Quake or Doom? Without a compatibility layer, you'd be left with little more than online flash games and maybe some cheesy app-based games.

Sounds interesting enough that I'd spend some time playing with it if it's on display at a store sometime in the near future.

Kenny_Strawn 02-12-2011 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weasel War Dance (Post 4256009)
Ahh, that makes sense to allow users to work offline if need be. Thanks for the feedback. :)

Out of curiosity, since their site does not seem to mention anything about it: Does Chrome OS have a viable office suite, comparable to, say, Openoffice or MS Office? Basically, is it feasible to get office-type work done on it? And if everything is browser based, is it possible to have multiple different programs on the screen simultaneously, or are they limited to being in separate tabs? I sometimes find myself with about six different things on the same screen, and it'd be a hard transition for me to have to click tabs in order to multi-task.

First of all, there are three office suites that easily run on the Web and therefore can run in Chrome: Google Docs (which isn't that full-featured), Microsoft Office Web Apps (which has much more features, but is under the umbrella of Microsoft), and Zoho (which has the best of both those worlds) . All of these suites could easily do what you need them to do.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weasel War Dance (Post 4256009)
I feel I should ask, since it's bound to be asked at one point anyway: Is the gaming experience crippled in Chrome OS? I don't imagine it'd (yet) have software like Wine despite being a Linux OS, so playing games from a disk would be out of the question. But how about just games that can go completely full-screen, like Quake or Doom? Without a compatibility layer, you'd be left with little more than online flash games and maybe some cheesy app-based games.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore?c...=app%2F3-games

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weasel War Dance (Post 4256009)
Sounds interesting enough that I'd spend some time playing with it if it's on display at a store sometime in the near future.

Agreed. I am happy with my Cr-48, especially since it does all that I need it to do (except Cloud Print, which you either need a specialized printer or a Windows PC to use, but that's no problem as for schoolwork I can email a link to my homework [on Google Docs] to my teachers). If I could, I would record a screencast to show off most of Chrome OS so you don't have to play, but Chrome only has a built-in ability to take screenshots (via a keyboard shortcut), not screencasts. There also is currently no extension in the Web store that allows screencast taking (a search for "screencast" rings up plenty of irrelevant apps and extensions [I assume this is a form of Google bombing] that make no sense in relation to the search.

baudrunner 02-12-2011 11:13 AM

I don't use Google Chrome to browse the web since I am not online at home. However, I need it to test web apps on the local host, and I am actually very impressed with its page loading speed. I am using Firefox for my default browser, and Chrome, as well as Opera, render my projects EXACTLY the same way as does Firefox. Microsoft should take a lesson here.

Kenny_Strawn 02-12-2011 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baudrunner (Post 4256200)
I don't use Google Chrome to browse the web since I am not online at home. However, I need it to test web apps on the local host, and I am actually very impressed with its page loading speed. I am using Firefox for my default browser, and Chrome, as well as Opera, render my projects EXACTLY the same way as does Firefox. Microsoft should take a lesson here.

The Chrome browser is off-topic. We're talking about Chrome OS here. You know, that operating system/browser hybrid?

Weasel War Dance 02-12-2011 11:48 AM

@Kenny_Strawn: The office suite issue was one of my concerns for if I eventually wanted to give Chrome/Chromium OS a test-drive. Good to see there are ways to get work done. I wonder if Google will eventually release their own suite specifically for the OS...

Do you know about how much drive space is needed to install Chrome OS? I'd imagine it's rather compact, but is there an official amount of space it uses on average? Also, I saw your screenshot, looks good. It appears that tasks are separated by tabs in the same window, though.
It's too bad you can't do a recording; I was actually tempted to ask if you could show off a couple minutes of how it works. Hopefully they'll have a way to screencast soon.

Is Chrome OS more comparable in navigation and usage to another operating system (*NIX, *BSD, Mac, Windows, what-have-you), or is it more similar to a web browser in those respects? Apologies for bombarding you with questions, but I'm really interested to see where this OS is going.
EDIT: The screenshot you provided made me think that maybe Chrome OS is inspired by mobile OS's, Google's own Android for example.

Kenny_Strawn 02-12-2011 12:17 PM

Well you can build Chrome OS from source, but in order to get the full effect, apply for the Pilot Program. Sure, there's a wait involved, but chances are the Pilot Program will be open for a long time.

Weasel War Dance 02-12-2011 12:55 PM

Thanks for the link. I applied, though I have my doubts about being selected. If not, I suppose I'll just wait to see it hit the stores, or resort to compiling the OS if the wait is killing me. :p

@Kenny_Strawn: Noted. I'm not the most patient guy in the world, but I can wait if it's worth it.

Kenny_Strawn 02-12-2011 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Weasel War Dance (Post 4256312)
Thanks for the link. I applied, though I have my doubts about being selected. If not, I suppose I'll just wait to see it hit the stores, or resort to compiling the OS if the wait is killing me. :p

Here's the thing: be patient. It took mine more than 2 months to arrive, but when it did, I decided it was worth the wait.

eveningsky339 02-13-2011 06:01 PM

If you want Google to have unlimited access to your personal information, I highly recommend it. :rolleyes:

corp769 02-13-2011 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eveningsky339 (Post 4257309)
If you want Google to have unlimited access to your personal information, I highly recommend it. :rolleyes:

And that's why I don't use google products...

Kenny_Strawn 02-13-2011 06:18 PM

Shouldn't you be pleased, however, that Google Chrome OS is open source? In my opinion, I would give up anything ― even my privacy ― to open source software.


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