Monday, October 12, 2009

Chrome OS Browser Tour - A Possible Look at What's to Come

As I was browsing through my usual news articles, I spotted this interesting article over at TechCrunch:

Being the curious person that I am, I just had to try it out. And look! Google was nice enough to provide prepackaged .deb files!

Click images to enlarge

Of course, that's to be expected from anything branded Chrome. Chrome is, after all, not open source; the open-source browser is named Chromium. (It would appear this version has already been open-sourced.)  Anyway, after installation, what you get looks like this:

In the top-right corner, you'll find a clock (redundant when you're running it inside a full Linux distro), a network connection dialog (non-functional here), and a battery meter (also non-functional).

In the top-left, you have what appears to be the new logo (so far I have been unable to find a larger version of that image). Clicking on it opens this Google Short Links window, which doesn't really allow you to do anything unless you have a email address, which I assume is restricted to Google employees only.

In the options menu, you'll find a new tab for "Google Chrome OS". As of the latest build, it looks like this:

Aw dangit, how did this get here?  Ignore the Picasa 3.5 window in the background.

There's also a new menu option in the drop-down menu found in the top bar. Its options are identical to those found in the standard options button below it, except for a few things. There are options to clear browsing data, import bookmarks and settings, and go into fullscreen mode. There is also a new menu option called "Compact nav bar". Inside it you'll find the "New Window" option as well as "Open tabs on left", "Open tabs clobber", and "Open tabs on right". Sorry, but I was unable to get a screenshot for the menus, as neither of my screenshot utilities would let me do so and I'm not running this in a VM.

Browser running in fullscreen mode

Aside from these changes, the rest of the browser appears to be the same as the standard Linux build.

So there you have it. A quick look at an early build of the browser that's to be included in Chrome OS. Keep in mind that this is an early build of the browser and things are bound to change before the final version of the OS is released.
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