All About the Google Chrome OS

Cr-48 - Creation?

Cr-48 - Creation?

Codenamed Cr-48, this is the test drive machine of the Chrome OS which Google is working with some hardware vendors.

By itself, the unassuming black notebook doesn't actually look very impressive, you may mistake it for just another notebook but for the giant Chrome sticker plastered all over the unit. It's unbranded of course, and that's the way Google wants it. Actual retail units by their partners won't go on sale till perhaps the mid of 2011, but right now, the Cr-48 is just for testing purposes to make sure the software works fine. When asked, Kan Liu, Senior Product Manager for Chrome OS, was quite emphatic about this point.

"We're not announcing any of our upcoming hardware, but these current devices are built purely for testing purposes and uses Intel Atom chips," says Liu.

"One of the reasons we wanted to go with these less powerful devices or hardware was that we wanted to develop on basically the lowest common denominator first so that we can build software that runs super smooth and when we go on to other devices and other hardware it will be even faster."

Liu further adds that by doing so, Google will be able to identify "bottlenecks and slowpoints" in the OS, and if they can get these fixed on a low end system, would ensure that Chrome OS would run smoothly or even better on higher end systems. What Google didn't say though and what we are guessing, is that by making Chrome OS run smoothly on very low end platforms like those based on Intel Atom, it would make such retail units that much cheaper and help to drive up the adoption rate.

That said, while Google uses a pretty low-powered processor for the Cr-48, one of the requirements for Chrome OS remains that it has to have a Solid State Drive (SSD), which means that you won't have to rely on a mechanical hard drive with a slower access speed. And while the Intel Atom chip may not be a powerful processor as say an Intel Core i3, it's still a pretty capable chip considering that Chrome OS isn't actually designed to be an operating system like the more resource intensive Windows in the first place.

The CAPS LOCK key has been replaced with a search key...makes sense, if you are Google and your business is all about search

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