I realise that this is of little interest to most of you but I’m having a play with ChromeOS. I have it running on a virtual machine on my Dell laptop. It’s a bit slow but that is going to be because of the VM rather than the OS itself and certainly not due to the lack of bandwidth. Also every now and again it crashes, notionally due to lack of memory.
Initial impressions are good though it’s not perfect. For example in order to try out the online music app it asks you for your credit card info even though the app is free. Apple does this which I hate. I have subsequently found that you can bypass the Apple credit card capture page by not filling any of the fields and clicking “next”. Google won’t let you get away with this which I don’t like.
I have to fill out this form in order for Google to tell me whether the music streaming is “available in my country”. A simple “googling” tells me it is only available in the good ole US of A so it is a bit of a waste of my time and certainly irritating that a global organisation such as Google would have a product that was restricted to that country.
Next I tried the image editor and was a little disappointed to see it had pretty limited editing tools – crop, autofix, contrast and brightness. I need to be able to resize for the web as well as crop. Still it was easy to find a photo to edit. I just stuck one in Google Drive and hey presto it was there online. I use IRFanview on the laptop which doesn’t seem to be available for ChromeOS. There do seem to be lots of photo editing apps in the chrome Web Store though so that is probably ok.
I have a good feeling about ChromeOS. At £229 a Chromebook is not expensive to try out though I do have an issue with having too many gadgets at any one time. I want to play with ChromeOS, Windows8 and Windows8 running on a Nokia Lumia 920 over 4G. It isn’t manageable though to have so many gadgets, especially as you have to sign up for a 24 month 4G contract with EE to lay your hands on the Lumia. My friend Kory raves about the Samsung Chromebook though doesn’t recommend it as a primary system yet.
The general Google ecosystem really is heading in the right direction. I’m building up to a bit of a post about the Google versus Microsoft battle for the desktop with a specific slant on Unified Communications. It will have to wait for another day though. It needs more time.