TR+June+2010+-+A+Less+Personal+Computer - REVIEWS 86...

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Unformatted text preview: REVIEWS 86 TECHNOLOGY REVIEW MAY/JUNE 2010 I n Web parlance, chrome is the part of the browser that surrounds the page: the address bar, the Back button, and those all-important bookmarks. Chrome is also the name of the Web browser that Google introduced back in September 2008, and adding to the confusionChrome OS is the name of a new operating system that Google announced in July 2009 and expects to ship later this year. The naming scheme is no acci- dent. It re ects Googles ambition to create an operating system that is all but indistinguishable from the browser. Gone will be the normal fi les, directories, and applications. Instead, Chrome OS will put Googles cloud computing infrastruc- tureservices and applications delivered over the Internet from its vast array of serv- ersat the heart of practically everything you do. Within a few years, Chrome OS could become the planets simplest, fastest, and safest environment for personal computing. But theres a catch: it will also make Google the gatekeeper of your personal information. It could let Google delve further into your data to make its online advertising business more profi table than ever. Chrome OS represents a radical new direction for computers. Todays major operating systemsWindows, Mac OS, and Linuxare all based on the 1980s model of the workstation. Theyre designed to run on powerful hardware, storing all the users data and programs on a nearby hard drive. Even the Web, as invented in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, was merely an extension of this com- puting modela better tool for fi nding data on the network and bringing it to your com- puter. But people dont use their comput- ers that way anymore. At least, not people running popular Internet applications like Facebook, Gmail, and YouTube. When you use these applications, your data is stored in some distant data centerits crunched in the cloud, and only copied to your com- puter for viewing. You can download Chrome the browser and run it on Mac, Windows, and Linux CHROME OS Google Release date: Late 2010 e-books sold through Apples iBooks appli- cation have raised a serious outcry. Magazine and newspaper buyers, too, have been trained to expect lower prices for digital editions. The New Yorker costs $35.88 per year on the Kindle, compared with $39.95 for a print subscription and $234.53 on newsstands. The $0.75 price tag on the Kindle version of the Sunday New York Times , whose newsstand version costs $5 or more, gives me a larcenous thrill every weekend. (And obviously, I can read newspapers on the Web, at least for now, and pay nothing.) On top of all that, there and pay nothing....
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TR+June+2010+-+A+Less+Personal+Computer - REVIEWS 86...

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