The first laptop running Google’s ‘chrome’ operating system has gone on sale in the United States.
The machine which is made by Samsung replaces traditional ‘desktop’ files with browser based apps which store files online, a system which Google claim will help enable a new way of computing, whilst eliminating the need for anti-virus software and optical drives.
However, one potential ‘put off’ is the fact that neither Windows, Linux or Mac are yet compatible with the chromebook, meaning all users will have to be content with the chrome OS on the devices which are being sold for $429 (wifi only) and $499 (3g). They are expected to go on sale in the UK in August for between £349 and £399.
A second chromebook manufactured by Acer is due to start shipping soon, however despite chromesenior vice president Sundar Pichai claiming that the chrome OS would ‘End to end, make your computing experience simpler, safer, and faster’, early reviews of the system have criticised it for its poor usability when used offline.
Ruper Goodwins from ZDNet said “For all the things that are on the web browser, this works really well – better than anything else. But for all the stuff you do on the desktop, it doesn’t do very well at all” before summarising with “The idea that this doesn’t matter – that you’re always connected and always online – isn’t quite true yet. The idea is very good but it’s a little premature.”
Whether Google can transform their dominance in other sectors such as search in to the operating systems remain to be see, but it will be interesting to see how it takes on the big players such as windows.
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