Google reveals new Chrome OS features and products

Google launched its Chrome OS in 2011; the first Chromebook notebooks went on sale that year as well. The response from the general public wasn't enthusiastic and reviewers complained that the Chromebooks were almost useless without some kind of wireless network connection. Today, Google announced that it was launching a major new update to the Chrome OS - which is starting to look increasingly like Windows - and Samsung announced two new Chrome OS products.

In addition to the new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, Google and Samsung have officially revealed the Chromebox. The small form factor desktop sells for $329 and comes with an Intel Core processor, 4 GB of RAM, six USB ports and more. Google says both the new Samsung Chrome OS products are " ... nearly three times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks."

While Samsung is selling new Chrome OS devices, Google has also introduced new software additions and improvements to the Chrome OS itself. That includes a redesigned UI to quickly download new apps from Google Play. There's also a revamped media player and a built-in photo editor.

Perhaps the biggest change is more support for offline work. Actually, Google states that full offline support for many of its products are not quite ready yet but the company says it is coming soon. The blog states:

Google Drive makes it easy to create, store and share with just one click. Drive will be seamlessly integrated with the File Manager and support offline access with the next release of Chrome OS in six weeks. With Google Docs offline support (rolling out over the next few weeks), you can keep working on your documents even when offline and seamlessly sync back up when you re-connect.

The big question: Will all of these new and upcoming improvements actually get more people to dump their Windows or Mac desktop and laptop for a Chromebook or Chromebox?

Source: Google Chrome blog | Images via Google/Samsung

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft: 67 million Xbox 360 consoles sold so far

Next Story

Hundreds of potential new IP addresses for The Pirate Bay

60 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

4GB of ram for what?? huge games will only require like 3GB...for web browsing its useless...they should have added 2GB with reduced price OR with an SSD,maybe 16 or 32GB,i would mainly use to watch downloaded movies from my external hard drive. AND after purchasing it, you will have to purchase external HDD,monitor, keyboard and mice..it can cost a lot more than $450

Edited by SkrillexPy, May 30 2012, 12:04pm :

one thing I cannot understand: why can't google hire a software designer? they have none, zero, nada original design, every freaking service and product they do is a screaming but nevertheless cheap ripoff of other designs

the funny thing is they can be partners in crime with Samsung... with the pathetic copy of iOS for their TouchWiz and now this Mac Mini ripoff, wow - just wow

so if you have absolutely no taste at all and want an os for which nobody cares a bit just buy a Mac Mini copy with a Windows 7 copy... this **** belongs to a bottom shelf of a penny market

The concept of the OS is interesting but a company like Google should be able to design their own user interface without copying Windows 7

You can get Chrome OS installed to a USB pen drive which will boot off any Windows or Linux based PC. Visit http://chromeos.hexxeh.net He is doing a summer camp this year over in the States at Google and fully supports the OS. Worth a go IMHO.

Can someone just help me understand why Google has failed to do something original for the past 7 or so years? Looking back on everything they did search, then it was all 'copy the next guy'. This just goes to prove it.

All this OS is, is Mac OS X + Windows 7. No new ideas in this 'new' OS at all.

Just my two cents.

I like the look of the Chromebox and the Chromebooks but I would really like to get hold of the OS to test it out on some other machines first...
But it's a bit like OSX in that respect - built and tailored for the hardware.

Hopefully first gen Chromebooks will drop in price a bit on eBay now.

just a complete waste of time, crappy specs and high price for a cloud based OS. Useless for both personal and Business use, this will go down as one of Google Failures. Google just wants to index every human being into its advertising that is the bottom line with all the products that they sell.

I thought that Chrome OS is intended for those who only want to surf and do light work, fast, without extra bloats other OSes have. Why does it need to be 'that' powerful? 4GB of RAM? For what?

the price its just not good.... for the same price i can get a windows machine that do more....

Google should price this below 200 dollars or just drop it altogether and focus on android

The idea behind the Chromebox is a good one, but personally I think the pricing is a bit prohibitive for what it does. And whilst 4GB of memory is nice, it seems like overkill for what is essentially a Linux kernel and a browser.

Enron said,
Don't see the point of this thing.

guess what!! if Microsoft has made the same product it would have been useful ha...

tuneslover said,
Why are they still making this dumb os? $200 Kindle has better function.

Enron said,
Don't see the point of this thing.

+2

marketZZ said,

guess what!! if Microsoft has made the same product it would have been useful ha...

No, no it would not. If it were a tablet where you expected less functionality and did not have a monthly fee, possibly. But $300-$400 for a laptop with $30/month for a 3 year contract (total of at least $1380), for a browser only experience with a possible $20+ more a month for 3G (for a total of $2100 over 3 years) it would not be worth it if it were from Google, Apple, Microsoft, or anyone.

tuneslover said,
Why are they still making this dumb os? $200 Kindle has better function.

I bet you can't name one thing a kindle can do that a Chrome device can't.

I'd like to see if there is an easy way to boot to other devices from start-up. That would be a real killer then, I could dual-boot windows 8 for the heavy games and Microsoft Office, and then boot to Chrome OS for fast access to a browser.

This actually looks kind of nice! I'm surprised everyone here is negative! Chrome OS has some potential! I like it! IDK why but I do. Neat little gadget. It'll keep me busy for 20 min on a rainy day.

@oliver128 - yes that is a bit overkill

I see Chromebooks as laptops with training wheels. Sure, I use Google Chrome as my default browser, though if IE10 fixes the issue I'm having with IE9, I'll switch to that browser. I just don't think spending money on a browser OS is really something I'm prepared to do, specially when I can get the same thing gratis.

Google really needs to push ahead with Chrome OS. Microsoft is overhauling the app model with Windows 8 and it's the perfect time for Google to offering a compelling alternative. It needs to be a lot more than just a web-browser. And if it's not designed around touch then it will struggle to get anywhere.

I like Chrome in the beginning, pretty much up till the end of last year, took a shine to firefox again with their new release schedule

First Google mines my search data with Google Search. Next it mines everything I do on the Internet via Chrome. Now ChromeOS will enable Google to mine everything on my device. Google has got to be the Devil incarnate.

streetw0lf said,
First Google mines my search data with Google Search. Next it mines everything I do on the Internet via Chrome. Now ChromeOS will enable Google to mine everything on my device. Google has got to be the Devil incarnate.

Damn you Google for finding a way to provide free services!

streetw0lf said,
First Google mines my search data with Google Search. Next it mines everything I do on the Internet via Chrome.

So it's simple-- give Google only what you want to share. If you don't want them poking through your e-mail, set up your own mail server, or use your ISPs. If you don't want them messing with your search, use Duck Duck Go.

If you're really paranoid, turn off search history (etc.), and manage what information Google collects through your account settings.

streetw0lf said,
Now ChromeOS will enable Google to mine everything on my device.

The whole point of ChromeOS is that NOTHING is on your device. It's all in the cloud, so there's nothing new to find.

streetw0lf said,
Google has got to be the Devil incarnate.

Despite what I've said above, I'm not going to dispute that one.

I'd buy the ChromeBox. I like the idea of a quick-boot device that runs all of Google's services even faster (since I already use Google's stuff as it is)... I'm going to pick one up actually.

Im going to wait for the day i get users coming to us asking to join their new ChromeBook to their Domain and wonder why it cant be done.....

Its like Macs all over again... Buy it, then wonder why it dosnt have all the business functions of a Windows PC -_-

[Not a stab at Macs but just what i have experienced over time]

brent3000 said,
Im going to wait for the day i get users coming to us asking to join their new ChromeBook to their Domain and wonder why it cant be done.....

Its like Macs all over again... Buy it, then wonder why it dosnt have all the business functions of a Windows PC -_-

[Not a stab at Macs but just what i have experienced over time]

who need a local LDAP when you have Google Apps Domain...

NesTle said,

who need a local LDAP when you have Google Apps Domain...

Google Apps Domain != Windows Domain
In fact a Google Apps Domain is pretty much just a domain name.
A Windows Domain provides infinitely more features especially management of computers and a directory of user/computer objects - very business-centric.

Fred 69 said,

Google Apps Domain != Windows Domain
In fact a Google Apps Domain is pretty much just a domain name.
A Windows Domain provides infinitely more features especially management of computers and a directory of user/computer objects - very business-centric.

A Google Apps Domain provides a directory of user objects. Not computer objects, or computer management, but we all know the computer is just a dumb terminal used to get at the important bit-- your work, all stowed handily in the cloud (if that's what your business needs).

If anything, I'd say Google Apps is MORE business-centric than a Windows Domain.

cyberdrone2000 said,
If anything, I'd say Google Apps is MORE business-centric than a Windows Domain.

How can you even come close to saying that?

I can see Active Directory becoming less relevant in the coming years. Or at least locally hosted Active Directory. A service like Google Apps provides cloud-based management features that work anywhere the user goes. I'm not sure if Microsoft has a good alternative to Google Apps yet, but with Windows 8's Microsoft account support, you can see they are getting the pieces in place.

I know that the management features of Google Apps in no way compares to what you can do with Group Policy. But simple web-oriented devices just don't need that many management settings.

Glassed Silver said,
Get your TOS fixed, then we're talking about whether I'd ever suggest this device to anyone.

GS:mac

Without targeted ads they'd make less money and we'd be in a position where we would be losing good free services or having to pay for them, all because some people think Google is out to get them.

thealexweb said,

Without targeted ads they'd make less money and we'd be in a position where we would be losing good free services or having to pay for them, all because some people think Google is out to get them.


Please point me to where I said anything about ads.

I'm talking about the data you save and what kinds of permissions you grant Google.
Ridiculous.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Please point me to where I said anything about ads.

I'm talking about the data you save and what kinds of permissions you grant Google.
Ridiculous.

GS:mac

You never get something for nothing.

Glassed Silver said,
Get your TOS fixed, then we're talking about whether I'd ever suggest this device to anyone.

GS:mac

I really don't understand the constant scaremongering. I've been using Gmail for 8 years and Chrome for 3. I've never *had* to give Google a single piece of personally identifiable information to use their products, everything they have I've given them by choice.

Every single tech company tracks user habits to tailor ads to them. Google aren't the first and I'm damn sure they won't be the last.

Oh, boo-hoo. If you have nothing to hide then you also have nothing to worry about. Do you really think Google cares about Joe Nobody's browsing habits? It's not like they're going to tell all your Facebook friends you like to look at naked girls or something. Get a grip.

Glassed Silver said,

Please point me to where I said anything about ads.

I'm talking about the data you save and what kinds of permissions you grant Google.
Ridiculous.

GS:mac

Take off your tinfoil hat and reread them you'll see that they are not that invasive.

Most of the stuff they need is for the conversion to display the data on a web page for example Google Docs...

Google
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works ..., communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services .... Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

thealexweb said,

Without targeted ads they'd make less money and we'd be in a position where we would be losing good free services or having to pay for them, all because some people think Google is out to get them.

Why should I have to see advertising on a device that I bought and paid for?

At least that is the argument people use when it is against Xbox.

nohone said,

Why should I have to see advertising on a device that I bought and paid for?

At least that is the argument people use when it is against Xbox.

Same reason there's an ad-supported Kindle as a lower price. Without the ads, the device you payed for could be more expensive.

Needless to say, I'm all for someone having every right to modify something to any extent so long as they are the buyer of said product.

nvllsvm said,

Same reason there's an ad-supported Kindle as a lower price. Without the ads, the device you payed for could be more expensive.

Needless to say, I'm all for someone having every right to modify something to any extent so long as they are the buyer of said product.

I was asking the question because every time xbox is mentioned, we get people whining and complaining that they are paying to see ads. But when you buy a Google device, and pay the $20/month on a 3 year contract, ads are perfectly fine. Just looking for a little consistency.

Glassed Silver said,
Get your TOS fixed, then we're talking about whether I'd ever suggest this device to anyone.

GS:mac

What does gs:Mac mean?

bjoswald said,
Oh, boo-hoo. If you have nothing to hide then you also have nothing to worry about. Do you really think Google cares about Joe Nobody's browsing habits? It's not like they're going to tell all your Facebook friends you like to look at naked girls or something. Get a grip.

Oh? In that case you should give me your phone number, email, address, SSN, account numbers etc. You got nothing to hide right? I won't steal anything, I just want to take a look so share them with me!

bjoswald said,
Oh, boo-hoo. If you have nothing to hide then you also have nothing to worry about. Do you really think Google cares about Joe Nobody's browsing habits? It's not like they're going to tell all your Facebook friends you like to look at naked girls or something. Get a grip.

I hate you. Anyone who says "You have nothing to hide, so you have nothing to fear." is clearly siding with the people who are destroying our freedom, and taking away our right to privacy.

Every time someone utters those words, we're one step closer to 1984.

rfirth said,
Google
When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works ..., communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services .... Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services.

I am deinitely not ok with such a TOS. It is like saying, if you use our locker, all your stuff is for us to use freely and do whatever I like... The worst privacy policy I have seen ever... and some people even defend it.

NesTle said,

Most of the stuff they need is for the conversion to display the data on a web page for example Google Docs...

You clearly have no idea what he's talking about.