Slideshow

Google Chrome OS: A virtual tour

Google's Chrome OS was shown for the first time Thursday, where the company gave a brief demo of the operating system.

  • Google Chrome OS appears to use an expanding tree based file structure.

  • Chrome OS's app switcher is something of a hybrid between Mac OS X's Exposé, as well as the Windows taskbar and Flip3D. When you invoke the app switcher, you get a carousel of thumbnails representing open windows. Mouse over any of the windows to see previews of any tabs located within the windows.

  • Google OS is cloud oriented, meaning applications and data will reside primarily on the Internet. In case you've lost your netbook or are experiencing a hardware failure, you'll be able to log into any PC with a Web browser and a Net connection and access applications.

  • Navigating between applications and windows within Chrome OS is centered around browser and app tabs. Here in the upper-left hand side of the Google Chrome OS you can see active applications.

  • The Chrome OS will only work with solid state drives, according to Google. Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management, says that the company is working with a number of hardware manufacturers who will sell netbooks with the OS pre-installed.

  • Chrome OS allows you to select what applications to launch via what it calls an Application Panel.

  • Chrome OS has no apps designed specifically for it, like other operating systems do. Instead, every Chrome OS app is a Web app run through the Chrome browser. Chrome OS can use any Web app--the same Web apps you may already use on your PC. In one humorous moment, the presenter showed Microsoft Office Live running on Chrome OS and quipped, "It turns out Microsoft launched a killer app for Chrome OS."

  • Panel notifications, located in the lower-right hand corner of Chrome OS will alert you to new instant messages, e-mail, and calendar events.

  • During the demonstration of Google Chrome OS a camera was plugged into the demo netbook. An image appeared on the screen showing images stored on the camera. This image is of the press attendees.

  • Chrome OS has a near-identical interface to Google's Chrome browser, offering a tabbed UI with icon-based shortcuts to popular Web services.

  • Google's Chrome OS is designed purely to run Web-based applications, rather than software installed on a system's hard drive. At Thursday's Chrome OS event, Google claimed the new operating system's boot-up speed is a lightning-fast 7 seconds. The Chrome OS will not be available to consumers until 2010 around the holiday season, according to Google.

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