This is exciting news for the internet addicts among us. Google has finally announced an on-sale date for it's Chrome OS-based computer, Chromebook. If you've used the Chrome browser at all, you'll have a pretty good idea what you're in for with this new netbook. If you haven't, it's worth a spin even if you're an avid Firefox or Opera fan. (For those of you stuck with IE6 at work because you don't have admin access to download a faster browser, Google's got you covered too.)
Google's been talking about doing this for a couple of years now and it's pretty obvious they're out to change the way we use computers for good. The Chromebook has an eight-second boot time (take that, Windows) and because everything is hosted online, you don't need to worry about running out of disk space or paying to upgrade an out-of-date OS in the future. You also won't need to worry about losing/breaking your laptop, because you'll be able to sign into any other Chromebook and all your data will be there, exactly the same as before.
Chromebooks come with 3G access - in the US this will be 100MB/month free through Verizon, so expect similar plans when it releases in other countries.
Of course, the trade-off to all this convenience is that Google will own everything about you, most likely using the data to better target advertising.
- Instant web - boots in ~8 seconds.
- Built-in wi-fi and 3G means you're pretty much always connected.
- Your apps and documents are stored online, in the 'cloud', so you'll have access to all your files and apps from any Chromebook you log into.
- Access to all the Chrome web apps.
- Guest access.
- Automatic updates to the newest version of the OS.
- In-built virus protection.
Chromebooks will be available in the US & UK from 15 June, with other countries promised soon after.