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03 Jun 12 Chrome OS update adds traditional desktop feel


Google’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

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Users and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.itworld.com/operating-systems/279219/chrome-os-update-adds-traditional-desktop-feel

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30 May 12 Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop Feel


Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelGoogle’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelUsers and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelBut dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256514/chrome_os_update_adds_traditional_desktop_feel.html

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30 May 12 Google Updates Chrome PC With Quicker Specs, Revamped OS


Google’s Chrome operating system has been updated and the company has released two new hardware options from Samsung that run the web-based OS, but is it worth the effort?

Samsung’s Chromebook Series 5 550 looks the same as the Chromebook Series 5 from last year. However, the 550 has a few important upgrades that Google insists make it a much better value. The netbook retains its 12.1-inch display and 3.3-pound weight, but doubles its RAM from 2GB to 4GB. The 550 also gets a processor upgrade to Intel Celeron dual-core processor, instead of last year’s Intel Atom processor.

Speed is integral to the Chrome experience. The new Chromebook and Chromebox – a small PC that resembles Apple’s Mac mini but requires you to add a monitor, mouse, and keyboard on your own – are built on Intel Core processors, which are 2.5 times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks, with a boot-time of 7 seconds instead of 10, reports PC World’s Melanie Pinola.

However, a shorter battery life rating of 6 hours versus the previous generation’s 8.5 hours, is being reported and the pricing is a bit higher too: $449 for the Wi-Fi version (versus $430 last year) or $549 if you want built-in 3G ($499 last year).

A new user interface allows quick and easy app launching. You can pin commonly-used apps for quick access, display multiple windows side-by-side or experience your favorite apps in full-screen mode without any distractions, Google writes on its Chrome blog.

A Chrome OS is based on the notion of an always-internet-connected operating system. Consumers have so far not felt this was a feature worth clamoring for as it will only “work” when it’s connected to the web, writes Sean Ludwig for Venture Beat.

Chrome’s OS was designed to be used in conjunction with Google Drive making it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Drive will be seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS in six weeks.

With Google Docs offline support (rolling out over the next few weeks), you can keep working on your documents even when offline and seamlessly sync back up when you re-connect. In addition, there are hundreds of offline-capable web apps in the Chrome Web Store.

Many apps work best installed locally on a machine rather than operating through a browser. As such, Chromebook and Chrome OS adoption has not been widespread.

Article source: http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112544720/google-updates-chrome-pc-with-quicker-specs-revamped-os/

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30 May 12 Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop Feel


Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelGoogle’s Chrome OS may be all about the Web, but the latest version of the search giant’s operating system adds a traditional desktop look to Chromebooks including features familiar to any PC user. Instead of having one monolithic browser window with an endless number of tabs, Chrome OS has a new window manager that lets you open multiple windows at once. You can also snap a window to each side of the screen to view two separate windows at once similar to the Aero Snap feature in Windows 7.

At the bottom of the screen, the new Chrome OS features a Windows-style taskbar for pinning favorite apps, accessing a list of all your apps, and a system status area off to the right. You can also change the background image and customize the app launcher with the new Chrome OS look.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelUsers and developers got their first taste of Chrome OS’ new desktop feel, codenamed Aura, in April through Google’s developer update channel. Aura is now rolling out on new Chromebooks such as the recently launched Chromebook Series 5 550 (starting at $450) and Mac Mini-like Chromebox ($330), both from Samsung.

Chromebooks are apparently finding at least a small user base with schools looking to distribute cheap PCs to students, but Google’s Web-centric laptops have not caught on with regular users in any significant way.

At first glance, Chrome OS makes a lot of sense for almost anyone looking for a secondary PC. The average person uses their computer largely to get online and check e-mail, update Facebook, watch videos, and create the odd document. Chrome OS can handle all of these tasks and Google is promising more enhancements such as offline Google Docs editing in the coming weeks.

Chrome OS Update Adds Traditional Desktop FeelBut dig a little deeper and you’ll find that you can’t access full-powered photo and video editing tools, or store more than 16GB worth of data on the device’s puny SSD. Yes, there are online alternatives, but many are still not good enough to match up with their desktop equivalents.

As PCWorld’s Jason Cross pointed out in his first Chromebook Series 5 review, finding Chrome OS alternatives to powerful desktop apps can often feel like a hunt for workarounds. Until Chrome OS can solve that fundamental problem, Google may have a hard time winning over users. Even with its new desktop feel.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter and Google+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256514/chrome_os_update_adds_traditional_desktop_feel.html

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