Google’s Chrome isn’t just a very handy but unusual browser, it is also an operating system. Okay, the truth is that there is no Chrome operating system, it’s just Linux or Kubuntu with a little Google packaging and marketing thrown in. Once again, Google has figured out how to take good existing technology and repackage it and make a pile of cash in the process. A lot like Apple does only, average people can actually afford to use Google’s Chrome.
As you can see above, Google Chrome does have a clean and simple look to it. It will be easy to use but you can get a similar look by simplifying your windows.
Something that those who are consider switching to Chrome should realize is that you may not be able to run most Windows apps and programs in it. This includes Microsoft Office and the ever popular Word and Excel. So know that you will not be able to do a lot of everyday work tasks in Chrome.
It also means that you will probably have to use a virtualizer or virtual operating system to run Windows programs on your Chrome machine –something that companies like Acer and Samsung are not telling the cheapskates buying the Chrome netbooks they’re shipping out. Another problem is that your computer will have to have Hard Activated Virtualization or HAV capability to run a virtualizer.
Therefore anybody who thinks that he or she will be able to do everything on a Chrome notebook that he or she can on a Windows laptop is going to be badly disappointed.
If you just want to search the web and perform very basic tasks like texting and e-mail Chrome might work for you. If you want to do other things like write documents that other people will be able to open and read you will probably out of luck. Nor will you be able to do most school work or work for the office on your Chromebook.
A Good Alternative to a Chromebook
If you’re looking for a cheaper notebook or netbook, a better alternative would be to head to the used computer store. There are tons of really good older model laptops on the market these days. Many people are dumping their laptops for tablets and iPads so you should be able to pick up some bargains. Why people want to perfectly good technology for something new is beyond me.
I guess a lot of supposedly grown up adults never got out of high school. They want the latest fad, even if it makes absolutely no sense.
Oh well, that does make things easier for the rest of us who just good basic technology that works and meets our needs.
It will be best to try and find a computer store that gets a lot of corporate returns. Big companies, especially ones that are laying off people, often dump unused or little used machines onto the market. Websites including eBay and Dell.com have some pretty good deals on used stuff too.
The reason why a used laptop can be better is that you can get one with a full Windows package for the same price as the toys they’re pushing on the market as netbooks. That means you can get a real computer for less than what other people are paying for a Smart Phone with a keyboard and a big screen.
Something else to remember is that you can pick most Microsoft programs including full Windows operating systems up online fairly cheap. That means you can have something that runs everything including all the Microsoft Office applications for the same price as a Chromebook.
Should You Use Google Chrome?
Windows users who have the capability to run a virtual operating might consider using Google Chrome. It does look good and it will give you access to a lot of programs and applications you cannot find elsewhere. It is also free and so are most of the apps on it.
If you’re doing something like developing new applications you might want to have Google Chrome OS. After all a lot of people are going to be using it in the near future, so there should be a market for apps written for it. It can also be fun to play around with.
This site lets you download the Chrome OS Linux. This is not Chrome but a variant of Linux that mimics it. Since Chrome is nothing but a glorified version of Linux it should serve as a pretty good substitute.
Downloading Chrome and setting up a Chrome virtual machine are a little tricky but you can do it. If you do want to run Google Chrome on your PC you will need a virtual machine. That means you’ll need to have a virtualization program like VM Ware or Oracle’s Virtual Box up and running. If you don’t have this and HAV capability on your computer you’re out of luck.
If you do have HAV capability you can get a virtual machine that will run Chrome OS on a PC. Something called Hexxen lets you download a virtual machine that supposedly contains the latest version of Chrome form Google HQ. They call it the Mountain View Chocolate Factory but that’s a nickname for Google Central which is located in Mountain View, California. You can download this here:
Installing Chrome OS in a Windows environment is not for the faint of heart. Most of the Chrome OS variants out there are not that stable. Most of the geeks online recommend that you have some experience as a programmer and a 64 bit Linux system if you want to do that. If you are an average person with an everyday computer stick with Windows.
If you want to run Chrome on your PC, wait until Windows 8 comes out. It will supposedly have a much better virtualization feature called Hyper V 3.0 which will making run a Chrome OS virtual machine on a PC a piece of cake.