Google’s Chrome operating system is not a new concept – computers with this function were officially released last year, to mixed reviews about their all-in-one web browser approach, and sales were not especially encouraging. However, Google have now revamped their approach to Chrome, and launched two new machines in association with Samsung – the laptop-style ‘Chromebook’, and a desktop style ‘Chromebox’.
Google and Samsung’s relationship is already cemented by their collaboration on the mobile Android system, so the partnership for the release of these machines comes as no surprise. However, the offering itself is unusual, offering an entirely new incarnation of the PC experience.
The development of the new machines stemmed from the concept that increasing numbers of computers are reliant on the internet for the majority of their functions. Google says that the new machines are up to three times faster than the first generation – this, coupled with their automatic software updates and compatibility with Android-style apps and Microsoft Office, means that the Chromebook and Chromebox may fit comfortably into the niche between tablet and desktop PC. However, the lack of competitive email management software and the necessity to have a web connection for tasks as basic as editing a document will put off some prospective buyers.
Google’s senior vice president of engineering, Linus Upson, admits: “We need to keep improving what you can do offline”, so it seems that improvements may be on the way to turn the Chromebook and Chromebook into fully functional, competitive machines. A spokesman for Google said, “There’s a lot more on the way, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits of the (always) new computer.”