We use nothing but Google's lightweight, cloud-based OS for a week
When Google announced Chrome OS, many people scoffed at the viability of a browser-based OS. Currently, however, Chromebooks are among the most popular inexpensive computing devices today. The search giant has done a great job of making an OS that is light enough to function on entry-level Atom-based SOCs and even low-powered ARM silicon. With the launch of many new Chromebooks (click hear to find out which one we think is the best chromebook) we wanted to see if a person could survive with a Chromebook playing games, videos, word processing and more for an entire week. Read on to see how the OS fared against Windows in our seven-day challenge.
It worked for netbooks, can it also work for entry-level laptops?
Regardless of how power users feel about Chromebooks, they're selling, and they're selling well. In fact, a Samsung Chromebook model is the best selling laptop on Amazon, and out of the top 10 most popular notebooks (in terms of sales), Chromebooks account for half. That's certainly not the landscape Microsoft envisioned when it released Windows 8, and to counter the Chromebook movement, the company is reportedly planning to slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent.
Google has announced plans to investigate the possibility of expanding its Google Fiber service to nine metro areas in the United States. Having set up its network system in Kansas City (KS), Austin (TX), and Provo (UT), Google is looking to branch out and discover how feasible it will be to bring its service to other areas.
Lucky residents in Kansas City and Provo, Utah can already sign up for 1Gbps Google Fiber service, and Austin, Texas isn't far behind. That's 100 times faster than the average American speed of 9.8Mbps (based on Akamai's State of the Internet 3Q2013), and yet it's also only the tip of the iceberg. Apparently bitten by the speed bug, Google is currently working on speeds of 10Gbps.
Cable companies and tech firms like Microsoft share a common goal
A coalition of cable companies and well known technology firms has been formed to address the "Wi-Fi spectrum crunch" and to lobby Washington to free up unlicensed spectrum. The coaltion is called WifiForward and it includes cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable (which Comcast is trying to acquire), and Charter Communications, along with technology firms like Microsoft, Google, and Broadcom.
Google's army of Chrome OS devices continues to grow
Are mainstream users ready to live primarily in the cloud? With all the Chrome OS devices coming out (along with the ones that are already available), this year will be a good litmus test for the platform. Joining the ranks of those offering a desktop solution is HP, the world's second largest PC maker, which plans to launch a Chromebox in the spring. HP's Chromebox will initially debut in the U.S., though the OEM is mum on the price.
Asus and Google are quickly becoming BFFs. As you already know, Asus is the one that builds Google's 7-inch Nexus tablet, and earlier this week, Asus announced plans to release a Chromebox starting at $179 in March. Google has now taken the higher end version -- the one with a Core i7 processor -- and is targeting businesses with a Chromebox bundle that's supposed to make videoconferencing easy.
Google has reached a settlement with the European Union that effectively ends an antitrust investigation that had been ongoing for more than three years. Under terms of the deal, Google agreed to alter the search results shown in Europe so that competitor's webpages are "clearly visible" when users look up specialized services such as lodging and restaurants. Going forward, European users will see services of three rivals in the same way that Google shows its own services.
We've all sat around and doodled during our grade school days, and some of us still do it during board room meetings and any other time our minds wander. Kids today have it better than we ever did -- while our doodles all ended up in the dust bin, Google will award a $30,000 scholarship to one lucky artist as part of its 2014 Doodle 4 Google competition, the search giant announced.