Feeds

Google Chromebooks molt, grow fresh browser

Two month olds get new lease on life

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Google has released a new version of Chrome OS – the browser-based operating system that first arrived less than two months ago – offering VPN hooks, 802.1x secure Wi-Fi , and what the company claims is a 32 per cent faster resume time.

The new stable release is based on Chrome 13, so it also includes "Instant Pages" – a service that attempts to accelerate your Google searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them.

Chrome OS officially arrived on June 15 atop two Google Chromebooks: one built by Acer, the other by Samsung. The OS is essentially a modified Linux kernel that runs a single local application: Google's Chrome browser. It moves (most all of) your applications and data to the interwebs.

Google pitches Chrome OS as an operating system that's eternally improving. The Chrome browser is on what used to be considered a rapid six-to-eight-week release cycle, and Chrome OS will updated just as rapidly, with updates automatically pushed down to devices. "One of the things that excites us about Chromebooks is that unlike other computers, the user experience automatically gets better over time," Google says in a blog post announcing the latest release.

The flip side is that compared to traditional desktop operating system, Chrome OS is rather limited. And it does even less if you lose your internet connection.

Though Google claims a 32 per cent faster time with the new release, the resume time on our Samsung notebook was already so fast, we didn't really notice an improvement. Chromebooks use solid state flash drive rather than old school hard disks, and they not only resume quickly but boots quickly. Ours boots in about ten seconds.

The OS now supports VPNs using L2TP over IPsec with pre-shared keys. It lets you mount Android devices via USB. And Google's Cloud Print tool now lets you grab documents and save them as PDFs on Google Docs, the company's online word processor and file storage service. Google has also rolled out various big and crash fixes.

Separately, several Google partners have apparently released web-based applications to coincide with the new OS release. Google's Chrome Web Store now offers a Netflix app; Amazon's Kindle Cloud reader, which lets you read Kindle ebooks even when offline; and a "tech preview" of the Citrix Receiver, which lets you run traditional desktop applications on Chromebooks. When you complain that Chromebooks don't run good old fashioned Windows apps, Google inevitably points to Citrix Receiver. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.