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Google's Chrome OS is a work in progress

Preston Gralla | Nov. 26, 2009
Google's upcoming operating system has caused a lot of talk, but there's not much there yet.

A few anomalies and additions

As you would expect in a very early version of an operating system, Chrome is still is a rough piece of work. For example, why have two icons lead to nearly the exact same menu of options? Most likely, that will change in future versions.

You'll also find at least one dead-end from which you can't escape. Choose the Bookmark manager, and you'll get to the familiar Chrome Bookmark manager -- but you then can't get back to the rest of the operating system. There's no exit. That's particularly problematic, because there's not even a shutoff button or feature for the operating system itself.

The browser itself worked fine, although I couldn't get the sound to work. That may be an issue with the VirtualBox implementation, rather than the operating system, though. Similarly, although the browser played YouTube videos without any problems, I could not watch video on the Hulu.com site. Again, though, that may have something to do with VirtualBox, rather than Chrome.

Conclusions

When Google's announced Chrome, the company said that it would essentially be a browser turned into an operating system, and a first look at this early version of the beta shows that to be very much the case. At this point, there's very little there, apart from the browser itself. While it may be instructive to download and try this first iteration of Google's Chrome OS, we'll have to wait for future versions with a more fully formed feature set to judge the operating system itself.

 

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