Say what you want about web browsers on Linux, I just miss Internet Explorer. No let's be serious. A great thing about Linux distributions is in general that they come packaged with a good browser. If that browser is not your favorite, you can easily install another one (and you don't necessarily need a browser to download your favorite browser). For most users, however, this favorite browser will be Chrome or Firefox, and there are reasons for that: they are both good browsers. For more adventurous users, there is also Opera, which recently improved. But, there exist browsers out there which are a lot more exotic, with particular features and goals. I shall propose you eight examples: eight browsers which may not be as complete as Chrome or Firefox, but which are definitely worth checking out for their philosophies or design.
Docker, the open source container-based virtualization platform, is not officially ready for production use quite yet. But it's very close, as the Docker team made clear this week by rolling out the release candidate for version 1.0 of the software, which adds new security features, networking updates and more.
Intel has finally joined the Chrome OS bandwagon ensuring it won’t become obsolete in the post PC (Windows) era. The two companies hosted a joint press event on May 6 where they announced quite a lot of Chromebooks powered by Intel chips. Intel enjoyed a monopolistic position during the Windows era and the partnership between Intel & Windows was known as Wintel, which unfortunately was bad for the industry as it lead to some anti-competitive business practices which heavily damaged (and almost destroyed AMD).
A plethora of new Intel-powered Chrome OS devices were announces at a press conference hosted Wednesday by tech giant Google and chip manufacturer Intel. The event, which featured Caesar Sengupta from Google, and Navin Shenoy, vice president and general manager of mobile computing at Intel, announced, among other things, Chromebooks powered by Intel’s low-energy Bay Trail chipset, which will enable the lightweight computers running the Linux-based, web-centric operating system from Google to reportedly have 11 hours of battery life. Other devices announced include Intel’s Haswell and Core i3 chips.
The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google‘s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.
Probably the biggest thing missing from Intel's announcements today were any Chromebooks that have a larger or higher-quality screen — most Chromebooks remain stuck with 11-inch screens and relatively low resolutions. Samsung's new Chromebook may run the less powerful Exynos processor, but it also features a 13-inch, 1080p screen — it seems that Chrome consumers will still need to choose between power and a quality screen for the time being. As always, Intel, Google, and its OEM partners said they'll continue to innovate on the hardware front, even though these Chromebooks are pretty similar design-wise to earlier models. "As users do more with Chrome, they'll expect more from the hardware that surrounds it," said Google VP Caesar Sengupta.
Red Hat and Canonical are doing a lot of the work to get the KVM hypervisor running properly on 64-bit ARM and Citrix Systems is also working to get the Xen hypervisor, which is the preferred virtualizer on Linux-based public clouds (Amazon Web Services, Rackspace Hosting, and IBM SoftLayer all use a variant of Xen; it is not clear what Google uses and Microsoft clearly uses Hyper-V). Stephano Stabellini, senior principal software engineer at Citrix, explained that Xenon ARM was a “lean and simple architecture” that “removed all of the cruft accumulated over the years” in the X86 implementation of Xen. The ARM variant of Xen has no emulation and does not make use of QEMU, and it only provides one type of guest, which combines the two options available on X86 machinery. (That would be the full virtualization of a Hardware Virtual Machine and the partial virtualization available through Para-Virtualization).
While Lenovo is pitching its new Chromebooks at consumers, it's likely that they'll be popular in school systems--especially the less expensive N20 model. School systems around the U.S. are purchasing Chromebooks for students, a trend that Google could subsidize and one that is reminiscent of Apple's strong focus on the education market from years ago. Westwood High School in Massachussetts is buying Chromebooks to issue to students who will return them once they graduate. The Bell-Chatham school board has approved Chromebook purchases for students, as has the Sumner School District.
One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.
So when you consider your next PC purchase, give ChromeOS a consideration and when you look at the sales on Amazon, it appears many people are starting to do just that. I would suggest though if you are looking for a Chromebook replacement to a bulky desktop PC with features you don’t need, you go for as large a screen as possible. 14″ seems to be the best size and accommodates web pages, apps et al, comfortably.
Power is not generally associated with Chromebooks, since they utilize either ARM processors, like tablets, or Intel’s Celeron processors. Google‘s Pixel was the only Chromebook that could be described as powerful because it uses one of Intel’s Core i5 processors. However, on Monday we saw an Acer Chromebook that is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor. This is a large jump from the usual low power processors found in most Chromebooks, and will offer that power at a much lower price than the Chromebook Pixel.
Once upon a time, if you ran a data center, you used virtual machine (VM) management programs (i.e., hypervisors) There was no other practical choice. This dates all the way back to the good old IBM 360 mainframe days with CP-67/CMS in 1967. Today, our data centers and clouds run more advanced hypervisors. Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, is made up of nearly half-a-million Linux servers running the Xen hypervisor, while Microsoft's Azure cloud relies upon its Hyper-V hypervisor.
Google already provided the Chromebook Business Management Console to businesses, but now these businesses can work with familiar companies to use it in their business. In addition, with major manufacturers offering Chromebooks, including Dell, HP, Samsung, Acer, and Lenovo, businesses can stick with a preferred brand and have a wide variety of Chromebooks to manage.