Google says its upcoming Chrome OS is “nothing but the web” and will be available in Q1 2011.
In typical Google fashion — a company obsessed by speed — it’s very fast to get going with a brand new Chrome OS netbook. Users first setting up their Chrome OS notebook will be met with a login screen, accept terms and conditions, login with an account, take a picture for the user with the camera and they’re in.
“You’re in with four steps,” Sundar Pichai, Google Vice President of Product said. ”In less than 60 seconds you’re done.”
And the netbooks will boost near instantly and will resume almost instantly – Google says the only delay is the user getting their hands ready to go. And Google confirmed the “same experience” will be available on every computer on which you run Chrome – uninstall an app in Chrome OS, and within seconds it will disappear from your Windows or Mac installations as well.
Google has also added a “Guest Mode” into the operating system which they’re calling “Friends let friends use” mode that runs Google Chrome’s “incognito mode” and makes it “very, very easy to share computers with friends.”
And the search giant has also revealed its new offline modes for its web applications, that will allow users to continue to edit “Docs” offline and will synchronise changes as soon as you regain an internet connection. Web Store apps will also work in a similar fashion, allowing the netbooks to work even “if you don’t have connectivity”.
“Having said that in today’s modern world, you really need to be connected,” Pichai said.
“We’ve put in a lot of work to make sure users have the option to always have a connection in Google Chrome.”
The company has revealed every single Chrome netbook will ship with Verizon 3G connectivity in-built, allowing for use anywhere in the world, and will allow for Google CloudPrint to work remotely. Every user gets 100MB of data free every month for 2 years, with plans starting $9.99 and no cancellation fees and pay for what you need thanks to the self activation system. No word yet on Australian partners though.
“It works amazingly well,” Pichai exclaimed.
From a security standpoint, the company has streamlined the update process making sure they’re pushed out automatically, with sand-boxing, user separation and encryption available by default alongside a verified boot which cannot be modified, with a “safe part” to check the system to check nothing has changed. If something is changed, it will replace it with a “good” copy stored in the safest part of the OS.
“The single biggest threat is between the seat and the keyboard,” Pichai mentioned in regards to the biggest problem about security threats while revealing the company is very excited about verified boot. “It’s very, very hard to break… when Chrome OS ships it’ll be the most secure OS.”
As for businesses, Google says they’ve been “inundated” with requests for business features for Chrome OS, with Pichai demonstrating a number of enterprise features revealing a partnership with Citrix Systems.
“The best thing about this partnership is that it’s absolutely customer driven,” Gordon Payne, SVP Citrix systems said. “This is a natural partnership with Chrome OS and the netbook.”
Coming in the first quarter next year, Citrix allows for multiple applications running in a company’s data centre to run on any web browser anywhere, with Citrix demonstrating Microsoft Excel and a number of other apps running on a Google Chrome OS netbook, solvong one of the biggest potential problems of the new OS.
“It’s great, very simple,” Payne said. “It’ll really reduce the costs.”
The key points Google appears to be promoting for Chrome OS include instant on, same experience everywhere, seamless sharing, always connected, security built-in from the ground-up and
There’ll be a new version of the operating system “every few weeks” that will be automatically pushed to the users. The company, however “isn’t fully done yet” with Chrome OS with CloudPrint in beta and . We know exactly what we need to do, we need to tune performance more and finally there are bugs. We realise there is some time to go.”