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Chrome OS as Laptop Fast Boot Option

02/12/2009

We have a number of E-series Dell laptops in my organisation and whilst we don’t configure it many have Dell’s Latitude On installed.  This is a small Linux install that gives quick read only access to things such as recent mail, calendar and even a web browser.

With the advent of Chrome OS and after reading a recent article on LifeHacker by Gina Trapani it struck me that as well as dedicated Chrome OS devices there may be an option to boot from an onboard chip (like Latitude On) to effectively allow an alternative quick boot for a machine.  Now whilst the supported hardware list is not currently extensive hardware manufacturers can use the fact that Chrome OS is open source to create appropriate drivers.

Whereas Latitude On allows access to stored mailboxes, using Chrome OS would obviously relate to accessing content located on Google servers with regards to things such as mail or documents.  So would this be a step forwards or backwards?

Well for me I think it will be a progression.  There’s maybe another year or so of development to get to this point and by then the cloud, Google and Chrome OS will no doubt have progressed.  I think the maturity of the Chrome browser a year down the line and the fact that it will be ‘geared’ to working with Google services could be a big selling point for the Chrome OS in this sort of deployment.  I expect it will be faster and perhaps prettier (in GUI terms) to other quick alternative boot options.

I wonder how quick Chrome OS would be on a dedicated chip on a fast laptop as opposed to a netbook?  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to find out.

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