If there's one thing that Google's new Chrome OS doesn't lack, it's speed. To prove this, Google gave us a demo of the Cr-48, an Intel Atom based laptop loaded with the Chrome OS doing an instant-on from a standby mode. Open the lid, and boom, it's on. Wi-Fi's connected and all ready for your searches. It's so fast, we're told that the slowest part is actually putting your fingers to the keyboard and typing out your search query.
As a operating system for a notebooks and netbooks, the Google Chrome OS may seem like an oddity in a world where most operating systems are built around the idea of a tethered personal computing experience, where you get a blank desktop with which to fill up with applications and programs to your liking and functions perfectly fine offline.
The Google Chrome OS however, works on a different philosophy and is designed to work best online with a constant connection to the cloud. It's also designed around the Chrome browser, and in this case with Google believing that the browser is the program where you spend the majority of the time when you're at a computer, makes it the primary starting point for anything you do.
"What we learned the last couple of years since we've been using Chrome and developing it was that you spend a lot of time in the browser," says Brian Rakowski, Director of Product Management for Google Chrome.
"And we realised that more and more we don't even launch any other applications we're just using web apps all the time or just using your browser."
While the aim back then was to make Chrome even faster than it was already so that you could use these web apps even faster and more easily, Rakowski and his team found that one of the main problems was the operating system itself. There was just no true support for the wide range of applications that they wanted to use or that the operating system was limiting just how fast the Chrome browser could be. It was these problems that led to the decision for them to create Chrome OS.
"We are now at the stage where we have a pilot program that started in November (2010), getting lots of feedback from our users," says Rakowski.
"Our team has made pretty amazing progress, we're using this thing (the Cr-48) almost all the time to do all our work. and it's getting much much better."