Google had announced the Chrome OS long back and we’ve also seen the prototype Chrome OS netbook Cr-48 being sent out for beta testing. At its I/O developer event, Google finally announced the Chromebook. Starting June 15th, Chromebooks will be available for purchase in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with more countries to follow after that. Devices by Samsung and Acer are available on Amazon and BestBuy. What’s so special about the Chromebook?
· The Chromebook is a computer designed to work with Chrome OS.
· It has a special boot process that makes Chrome OS start quickly – in eight seconds.
· The boot process verifies your Chrome OS install ensuring that it isn’t tampered with and thus free of viruses and other malware. If there’s any tampering, the system is repaired automatically.
· The Chromebook supports Wi-Fi and 3G.
· The Chromebook runs Chrome OS.
· Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS that is optimized to run only the Google Chrome browser.
· Chrome OS doesn’t have any applications installed on it, other than the Chrome browser.
· One can’t install traditional Windows, Mac OS X or even Linux apps on Chrome OS.
· All your work needs to be done online using tools such as Google Docs (office applications), Piknik (Image editing), Gmail (email).
· One can install web apps from the Google Chrome Web Store (now including the popular Angry Birds).
· Chrome OS is stateless. i.e. since all your operations are performed on the cloud your netbook itself stores nothing. You can discard it, log in from another device and have the same experience.
· Chrome OS updates automatically.
· Chrome OS encrypts your data, so even if your device is lost, your data is safe.
Google will also offer these devices on a subscription-based model for Chromebooks, at a price of Rs. 1,271 per user per month for businesses and Rs. 900 per user per month for educational institutions. “Enterprise-level support, device warranties and replacements as well as regular hardware refreshes” will be included in this subscription model, and so well a web-based management console that will “include inventory management, software application management, printer management, network configuration, status monitoring and reporting.”