Google released its Chrome Browser Beta to work in Windows platform in 2008. Now after two years Google has demonstrated Chrome OS, a Linux based Operating System. All applications are web based and the OS itself is auto-updating and cloud technology based. Now for those not familiar with the terminology 'Cloud Computing', Cloud computing is the concept of having only the bare minimum data needed on the computer's home storage and accessing the rest remotely from a storage server.
According to the review in the tech site gizmodo.com, Chrome is designed to be very light where there is only minimal storage to the system itself and most of the computing takes place online. No worries for those with shaky connections, it works just as fine offline too but you would have to stick with the stuff you already download.
"our instincts were right 20 years ago, but we didn't have the tools or technology" Google's Eric Schmidt said reported engadget.com. He was referring to his idea of thin client and cloud computing. All the data is stored remotely (storage is local only when the user wants it to be so) so your local storage can be minimal. Google enhances the performance since only low storage is needed, the hard disk is replaced with Solid State Drives that are much faster.
Since it is Linux based it is an open sourced Operating System. It can run on Windows based systems too. Chrome OS can be downloaded from many sites. The official one is at http://getchrome.eu/download.php.
Since Chrome is web based it is primarily targeted to run on netbooks. Acer and Samsung are releasing Chrome based Netbooks in mid 2011. Google is said to have taken extra precautions regarding security since most applications take place online.
Rumors of a Chrome based tablet are flying high. Google is giving away Chrome based 12" machines coded CR - 48. The system is already being pilot run with partners ranging from small scale businesses to top level defense programs. Individuals can also take part in the CR 48 program by registering at http://www.google.com/chromeos/pilot-program.html
Google has also revealed a Chrome Web App store. This store contains applications that can be run on a Chrome OS. Applications include simple things like a scribble pad to high power games. There is also a book store. The Chrome Web App store is at https://chrome.google.com/webstore.
Though the chrome has many advantages it has it's own drawbacks like being too much dependent on the web, not supporting old systems and hard drives, this again because Google wants to move forward and not backward.
I for one have already downloaded the Chrome OS and it runs good on my PC. I have also enrolled for the CR-48 program. Hopefully Chrome will be what it promises to be and we will be returning to the days when computer hard drive capacity was in KiloBytes.