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

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