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Introducing the Google Chrome OS July 8, 2009

Posted by Matthias Kiefer in Internet & Communities.
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It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.

Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.

[…]

via Official Google Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS.

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Touchscreen netbooks on the way June 30, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Digitimes reports a rumor that some netbook makers will produce low-cost computers with touchscreens that replace the mouse and trackpad. The move will free up space for a bigger keyboard.[…] It’s important to note, though, that the netbook makers aren’t planning to throw away the keyboard and build another tablet PC. Apple’s onscreen keyboard drops jaws, but as a means of typing in anything longer than a tweet, it’s exasperating. New York Times reviewer David Pogue praised the Palm Pre’s new micro-sized keyboard as “faster and less frustrating than typing on glass,” by which he meant typing on an iPhone.

d_10211That’s why instead of using touchscreens to replace the keyboard entirely, netbook makers plan to start by replacing only the touchpad and possibly the mouse buttons. What will they look like? They’ll look like the Eee PC pictured here, but without the trackpad hidden beneath the model’s hands. See all the space that could go away? In another two years, the only major difference between a smartphone and a netbook may be the size of their screens and keyboards.

via Touchscreen netbooks on the way | VentureBeat.

Hands-On Review Of Jolicloud, The iPhonesque OS For Netbooks June 8, 2009

Posted by pannet in Internet & Communities.
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Founder and former CEO of Netvibes Tariq Krim is moving forward with his ambitious Jolicloud project, looking to build a better operating system for web workers with netbooks or smartbooks or cloud computers, whichever term you prefer. […]

a lot of thought has been put into the design of the OS, adapting it for optimal use on smaller screens. Even when you run Jolicloud for the first time, everything is quite visual, making it easy to navigate even when you’re not familiar with all the buttons and processes. Compare it to switching from Windows Mobile 6 on your smartphone to the iPhone OS: it’s incredibly easy to get used to, and it’s just a better general user experience, particularly if you use a lot of web applications. I can’t wait to try Jolicloud on a touch-screen enabled netbook to see how it stacks up. […]  

 Jolicloud builds upon Debian and Ubuntu 9.04, tweaked to be more suitable for computers that are in general relatively low on disk storage and memory, and have smaller screens. […]

I have my doubts about the potential of the OS to become more than a niche product for people aleady using a niche product (netbooks), and it will be interesting how much of a competitor Google turns out to be with Android, which is poised to become a netbook-specific OS in the coming years. […]

via Hands-On Review Of Jolicloud, The iPhonesque OS For Netbooks.

Nvidia scores first major customer for Ion graphics platform » VentureBeat May 25, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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When Nvidia launched its Ion graphics platform for netbooks and small laptops in December, it landed with a thud. But today, the company is announcing that Lenovo is going to use the platform to create a small laptop with 10 times more graphics horsepower than typical laptops.

Ion is a chip that combines an Nvidia graphics chip with a chip set. It’s meant to be paired with low-cost processors such as Intel’s Atom microprocessor in low-power computers such as netbooks, which surf the web and are smaller than laptops. Although the graphics chip is an older model, it is more powerful than typical Intel integrated chip set graphics.

via Nvidia scores first major customer for Ion graphics platform » VentureBeat.

“Apple Netbook” Student Project Is a Pencil-Drawn Beauty May 5, 2009

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
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This little project has been making the rounds as the “new Apple netbook,” which, unfortunately, is way off. But the truth is pretty cool anyway: It’s a beautiful pencil-drawn, wooden model.

Student Kyle Buckner made this 3/4 scale model out of wood, with real working hinges and everything, and hand-drew the Dock, icons, keyboard, trackpad, and even the little Philips screws on with a pencil. It also features a magnetically-attached “screen” that has a pull-tab underneath. When pulled, the tab shows a very cool film strip drawing with illustrations of the wonders of Mac.

Check out the Gizmodo article linked below for more great pictures of Kyle’s work!

via Gizmodo – “Apple Netbook” Student Project Is a Pencil-Drawn Beauty – Apple netbook

Microsoft: Distinction between PC and phone gets even blurrier – TechFlash: Seattle’s Technology News Source April 2, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities.
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Speaking at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas this morning, Microsoft’s Robbie Bach started not by touting Windows Mobile but by talking about computers — specifically, netbooks. His comments, via webcast, demonstrated how much the tiny, Web-oriented machines are blending the worlds of personal computers and mobile phones.

Bach said Microsoft foresees more netbook PCs being offered with wireless access plans that let them connect to the Internet using mobile broadband. He predicted that, by 2012, a third of netbooks will be sold by mobile operators.

via Microsoft: Distinction between PC and phone gets even blurrier – TechFlash: Seattle’s Technology News Source.

Apple netbook? Apple tablet? Both? Neither? » VentureBeat March 9, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
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With all of Apple’s major hardware revisions out of the way after last week’s upgrades, the focus of pundits and fanboys alike can once again turn to mysterious new Apple products. No, I don’t mean the mysterious new iPhone, which Apple may or may not be testing ahead of a summer launch — I mean two entirely new products that may or may not exist at all: An Apple netbook and an Apple tablet.

via Apple netbook? Apple tablet? Both? Neither? » VentureBeat.