[sf-lug] Google phasing out Microsoft products...
brian.mcgroarty at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 22:08:20 PDT 2010
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 6:07 PM, Brian Morris <cymraegish at gmail.com> wrote:
> p.s. Is anyone out there actually running Chrome (outside of Google
> employees) ? How is it, is it really Linux, or is it more like what
> Mac has done with BSD ?
I've monkeyed with it a bit. In short: think web tablet with keyboard attached.
Only the browser is presented, along with some very minimal
configuration options. It's possible to get to the shell if you know
the magic invocation (ctrl-alt-T from the login screen) but it's not
clear that this will be part of the final configuration, and I haven't
seen any documentation on how to get at it once logged in.
There are a handful of browser changes to make the environment more
usable as a desktop, such as undocking (untabbing?) some tabs and
turning them into always-on-top floaters. I don't see any way of
running installed apps if they aren't coded as browser plug-ins, and
there's no sign of a generic window manager. Browser tabs and floater
tabs are it. For things like IM, email, and other always-on apps,
you're expected to use the left-most tabs, and select an option to pin
the tabs. That leaves nothing but the site icon in the tab bar and
might have made them resistant to ctrl-w closing (not certain here).
Incidentally, your Google login is your desktop login. No separate
user account is presented by the OS, unless you jump into the shell.
Pretty much everything is synced to your Google account, presumably so
you get the exact same setup regardless of what you log onto and
I'm not actively following, but from the smattering of Google blog
posts and talks I've seen, the goal is to make these run with just a
few gigs of flash for storing the OS. If you see a Chrome OS netbook
with a hard drive: they're doing it wrong. Even for things like
photos, the assumption is that you want to copy straight from the
flash card to Picassa or Flickr without storing a local copy. In their
ideal machine, you can't even touch the built-in media or control the
automatic OS updates without popping the battery out and flipping a
I doubt anyone on this list should consider making it their main
machine. But it sounds great for a light-use travel machine or
something you can toss to a visitor at home. These things are going to
be dirt cheap, zero maintenance, and usable for school and some kinds
of business. They should be non-threatening to the kind of casual user
who wants email, web, videos and little else.
Does anyone know if some kind of Google marketplace is expected to
land on Chrome OS as well? Also, any kind of machine certification
planned? Is there any reason to think it won't show up with ARM,
Loongson or other cheaper-than-dirt CPUs?
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