What The Chrome Browser May Look Like In Chrome OS

Over the weekend someone stumbled onto a Chrome browser build for Chrome OS on Google's servers. We've seen several false-alarm looks at Chrome OS, and while this is only the browser, it provides a glimpse into the direction Google's going.

(Click the image above for a closer look.)

Namely, the Chromium browser build for Chrome OS (assuming the now forbidden folder on the Chromium.org servers was accurately named) looks like it's integrating the tab bar with what would normally taskbar/menubar of the operating system. As you can see in the screenshot above, the browser embeds a clock in the top right of the browser window, along with "a network connection dialog (non-functional here), and a battery meter (also non-functional)." That would mean, as we've suspected, that the Chrome browser would likely be the main, basic windowing system for Chrome OS.

On the other end of the browser window, we've got something else to pick apart:

In the top-left, you have what appears to be the new logo (so far I have been unable to find a larger version of that image). Clicking on it opens this Google Short Links window, which doesn't really allow you to do anything unless you have a google.com email address, which I assume is restricted to Google employees only.

Note: All of these images come courtesy of an adventurous blogger over at weblog Living in a Google World.

It's still clearly a major work in progress, and now Google has entirely forbidden access to the folder containing Chromium builds specifically for Chrome OS, but it's good to get a glimpse at where they're headed.

What do you think? Like the idea of a true netbook where your web browser is the beginning and end of your operating system? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.

Chrome OS Browser Tour [Living in a Google World via Download Squad]


    Seems kinda shallow to me. The siplicity would be nice, but I think there should be more to an OS than just a browser.

    I like the Idea of a secure browser based OS. Microsoft tried it in a non secure, non stable way with win98 onwards.

    If one of the key designs is the OS to expect low speed access to content then it should be very responsive OS. i.e. not make you wait for an Icon to be generated on a file you have selcted.... then you press delete and it again wait to do something else.

    Chrome browser already has a Task manager. All that is needed for it is a "window" that can browse the file system and launch documents and programs.

    By going in the direction of cloud computing, with their upcoming OS, Google have the potential to create a great new type of product but I think one of the big questions here is "Without access to the internet how useful is this going to be?"

    For any of us that don't know, the central idea of cloud computing is to provide services via internet servers where the majority, if not all, of processing occurs instead of on your own (client) computer. Storage of data can also occur on these servers.
    This means that to access a cloud service you don't need any software (other than a web browser) and you don't need powerful hardware. All that's needed is an internet connection, so that you can reach the internet servers where the various services reside (the "cloud").

    This comes with some great advantages such as location independence (if resources are stored in the cloud they can be accessed wherever you have an internet connection), OS independence, low hardware requirements and less software maintenance (i.e. It's not necessary to update your software because it's done for you in the cloud).
    Wikipedia has a list of some key advantages of cloud computing here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing#Key_characteristics

    Google's Chrome OS, targeted at notebooks, looks as if it is going to rely almost exclusively on cloud computing. The obvious problem here is if a person is dependent on the internet to access their various resources (documents/photos/games etc), without an internet connection the computer becomes almost useless.
    Slowly this is going to become less and less of a problem as the internet becomes more and more pervasive into everyday life but at this stage, at least from my own experiences here in Australia, I often find myself without an internet connection (or a very slow connection) so I doubt cloud computing will be the way to go for all of us (yet).

    What everyone else thinks about this problem, I don't know.
    As to whether many people end up adopting Chrome OS, I think the determining factors are going to be, in order of importance: how beautiful the OS looks, how many vendors are going to make it available on their hardware straight out of the box, how easy it is to use and how quickly it boots up.

    Google have amazing products like picassa. If they use the photo management software to manage more media like videos and music. We can chat if google adds in gtalk. And all google services can be made to run offline using google gears. So you have gmail instead of outlook express or evolution. Compression softwares like 7z can be added seamlessly. Which can help users to archive and open archive files.
    Even though google has sketchup ,we will never see that kind of software run in the google chrome os.Serious content creation softwares like photo, video editors won't run. Game development won't be focussed right now.
    Then we have an operating system that can be used by a normal person.
    I think it would be an ideal OS for the office environments that deal with no creativity.

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