Great Presentation from Google at ISTE
Today at ISTE, I attended a session on Google Chrome at the Google booth on the conference floor. The presenter, Rushton Hurley, did a super job covering the in's and out's of Chrome.
He started by pointing out that when we talk about Chrome, we can be talking about three different things - the Chrome Browser, the Chrome Operating System (sometime called Chromium), and the new Google Chromebooks.
Anyone can download the Google Chrome browser. I have it and prefer it over Internet Explorer abd Mozilla Firefox. It's sleek, fast, and has some great features the others don't. The Google Chrome operating system is just that - an operating system - like Windows or Mac OS. This system, however, takes users directly to the browser. You don't necessarily need a Chromebook to run the Chrome OS. In fact, you can download it and install it on any machine from http://chromeos.hexxeh.net. Be warned though - I took a look at it and it's not as easy as one might think.
Google's latest advancement, the Google Chromebooks are netbooks specifically built to take full advantage of Chromium. They come preloaded with the operating system and even have a few keys that other netbooks don't, like a search key, and a previous page button. And, they boot up in an incredible 7 seconds! Schools can lease Chromebooks for for only $20 a month under a three-year contract. After the three years, the school can keep the machines!
Now, when you use Chrome OS, you are doing everything "in the cloud." That is, all your work is done and saved on the internet. You can use GoogleDocs for docuements, Picasa for pictures, Jaycut fro video editing, SumoPaint for image editing, and more. There are now cloud computing solutions for just about any application you can think of. Having your files in the cloud can be scary, but Rushton pointed out that (1) they are being backed up more often than most people usually back up their files, (2) there is the added benefit of auto-save while you're working and (3) they can be a collaborative effort.
We'll see just how well received they are by the public. But if you ask me, if you are used to "working in the cloud" and just need a netbook to access the net, the Chromebook is for you.
Image from: http://dsmith77.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/google-chrome.png