Chrome is going places these days. Google's browser-turned-desktop is proving out to be a dark horse in the OS marketplace. A few years after its first release, Chrome has turned itself into a veritable threat to Microsoft's dominant empire. The recent Scroogled campaign targeted at Chromebooks only seems to confirm the fact that Google is slowly spreading its claws into a domain that is solely controlled by Redmond.
For business owners, Chrome offers a lot of choices. It is free from the cycle of operating systems and the agony they bring with their difficult licensing, while also in sync with most of the Google services they already use. Those benefits aside, Chromebooks are cheap, well designed, and are extremely fast. The success of Chromebooks is worrying Microsoft so much that they cut Windows licensing fee by a significant amount.
Despite that I've owned an HP 11 Chromebook since its release, I've viewed it as little more than a novelty. I work from an office on the third floor of my home, which has a nice size desk, desktop PC and 15.6 inch laptop, both running Windows 8.1.
However, as the weather warms (finally!) I considered making the move out to my porch, something I did last summer as well. In that case I lugged the Windows laptop with me, not a difficult task, but the size is really more than I need for carrying around.
This time I elected to give the HP 11 a shot, as it's light and easy to carry. The only question was "how will I do my job?"
Some of you might not know this, but Android is actually based on the Linux kernel, although the Google developers are releasing it with a modified version of the kernel. This has been the case right from the beginning and the Android source has been released under a number of open source pieces of software.
This doesn't mean that any company can get the source code and start shipping devices with the OS just because it is open source. The problem is a little more complicated than this and it has to do with the type of license. The source code may be open source, but if you plan to make money off it you will need to cut Google a part of your pie, if by any chance you are going to also use services like Gmail or any other proprietary software.
Bogus copyright claims on YouTube are getting more and more prevalent, but they only get exposure when they do damage to high-profile targets. Michael Tiemann is the Chief of Open Source Affairs at Redhat Inc. and apparently he can't use Creative Commons music in his uploads without being bombarded with copyright claims.
The Chrome Team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 35 to the Stable channel for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Chrome 35.0.1916.114 contains a number of fixes and improvements, including:
More developer control over touch input
Unprefixed Shadow DOM
A number of new apps/extension APIs
Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.
The world’s leading PC maker Lenovo has also joined the Linux band-wagon and launched its first Linux-powered Chromebook for consumers space – earlier Lenovo offered Chromebooks for education. Lenovo has announced two Chromebooks – N20 and N20p. While both Chromebooks are identical, N20p offers a touchscreen display and its keyboard can flex 300° backward to convert from Laptop mode to Stand mode. So users can use the 10-finger touchscreen to consume content. It’s definitely a great device for both content consumption as well as content creation.
The new Chromebook has the latter design, much to the surprise of Youtuber Lachlan, who discovered the alternate Chromebook 11 and posted a video of it. Apparently, Lachlan, who resides in Australia, purchased what was labelled as a “white Chromebook 11″, but soon realized that it was not the same as the other Chromebooks 11, but rather a miniature Chromebook 14.
Google developers have released a new build of their Chrome browser, 36.0.1976.2, and this is quite a hefty update, full of various changes and improvements. Even so, it’s not recommended that you switch to the new version, if you already are running on of the two other branches, Stable or Beta.
Developers usually make the big changes in the Development branch and most of those modifications trickle down into the Beta, and then finally into the Stable. It may take a while for all the features to be implemented for the majority of users, but this is the safest way to do it.
The last reason why you should get your mom a Chromebook is their value. Currently, the most expensive Chromebook available for purchase is the HP Chromebook 14 at $299 or $349, depending on which version you get. This is the one I purchased, since it has the largest screen for a Chromebook, and has Intel’s new Haswell Celeron processors. (For more on my thoughts of the HP Chromebook 14, click here). Most other Chromebooks only cost $199 to $299, and that is if you purchase it new. Chromebooks can be purchased used, and still seem like a brand new laptop, as long as they look new cosmetically.
This may seem expensive as a mother’s day gift, but do not think about it as a one time gift, but as a long term investment. Your mother will never have to purchase a new computer again, since Chromebooks are built to last forever and come with free updates. She will never have to purchase antivirus again, nor any other software, since most of the apps on the Chrome Web Store are free. (For a guide on the Chrome Web Store, click here). By purchasing your mom a Chromebook, you save her from ever having to worry about her computer again. This saves both your mom and you time and money.