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Google Chrome OS hands-on (Dev Build November 20, 2009)

By: Sean Kalinich | Operating Systems in Software | Posted: Nov 21, 2009 12:43 am
Manufacturer: Google

What Gives?




If you followed our live blogging from yesterday you know that Google made some really big claims. They claimed a 10 second boot up time and they claimed a quick and easy to use OS. They even showed us that with their demo unit they had working. The problem is that unless the source code we have is not what they were using at the demo Chrome OS is bulky, awkward and about as un-user-friendly as you can get. The snappy OS and fun items were just not there in the version we played with. Finding options and features is not easy; you really have to hunt around for what you are looking for to find it.


To us it felt more like a badly coded browser than an OS we would want to use for an extended period of time. In fact, as I was writing this Chrome OS, rebooted inside VMWare several times and gave the error that it had not been shut down correctly. Speaking of shutting down, after two hours of hunting and searching, we were not able to find any way to properly shut the OS down. The option simply was not there.




The Google side - For Google's part they can sit back and say that this is very early source code. At the event they were very careful to say that Chrome will need certain hardware to run properly. So for all of our commenting it is doubtful that Google will take much note or do anything about the issues we saw. To them these are all "unsupported" configurations that will probably never be covered by their support and technical teams.


Where does that leave us? In the end, what you get here is an early look into what Chrome is right now. The UI is not final, the Apps section is not working (for us and others) and there are no extensions or access to syncing. Our hope is that Google can clean up the code and get more speed into it very soon otherwise with the way bad news and poor reviews get around on the internet Chrome might suffer a "Vista" type launch.


Update - After playing with Chrome OS for most of the day, I was highly annoyed that I could not find the application menu that was shown off at the event. Then out of the blue (I was actually setting up for the included video) the system started showing the menu properly. All of the applications that were shown were there. So at least we have that to look forward to now.


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