Google pulls back the curtain on the Chrome OS

Google is finally spilling a few more beans about its
forthcoming operating system. The company held a press conference today at its
headquarters to give the first in-depth look at Chrome OS and what makes it

First things first: If you’re hoping to replace your current
version of Windows with the system, you’ll be out of luck. When Chrome OS does
launch – sometime next year – it will only be available on devices specifically
made to run with it.

For the most part, that will be netbooks – but likely ones
that are notably cheaper than the ones currently on the market. (That could
conceivably put them below $200, which would be an efficient way to quickly
build an installed base for the OS.)

Chrome OS is very closely tied to the Chrome browser. The OS
looks very similar – with tabs for various applications. It won’t run Microsoft
office and is entirely Web-based. (Want word processing or spreadsheet
applications? You’ll need to use GoogleDocs or some other Web-based app.)

You will be able to set up several ‘virtual desktops’ –
allowing you to quickly access applications you use for various functions (i.e.
GoogleDocs for a ‘work’ desktop, a music player for fun, etc.)

It’s an incredibly light OS and start-up is reportedly
lightning fast – making the system ready to use in seconds, rather than Windows
rather laborious start-up time.

It’s not the sort of thing that has Microsoft worried in the
short term, but it could lead the charge to an online operating system – which
could ultimately put Google in a very powerful position in the OS category.

Curious to see how Google explained it? Check out the videos
after the break. 

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