Google Updates Chrome OS with New Hardware and Software

Chromebox joins Chromebooks as Google expands open source operating system vision

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Google is updating Chrome OS in a bid to make the open source cloud-focussed operating system more user friendly.

Google released Chrome 19 for Chrome OS late Tuesday, featuring a redesigned user interface and improved Window Manager. Google has also improved on the number of supported file types and provides an overall refresh of the Chrome OS settings.

Chrome OS first debuted in 2009 as an network based operating system that is tightly coupled with Google's online services. With Chrome OS, users need to always be connected to the Internet and access application by way of the Chrome browser that is the cornerstone of the operating system.

In 2011, Google expanded the vision of Chrome with the official release of the Chromebook reference architecture for hardware. Multiple hardware vendors including Samsung adopted the model and released Chromebook notebooks into the market.

Now the model for Chrome OS is expanding to thin computing with the debut of the Chromebox. The Chromebox is built by Samsung and is a small footprint device that can be connected to up to two external monitors. The device includes 6 USB ports of connectivity and is powerChromeboxed by an Intel Core processor supported by 4 GB of RAM. List price for the new Chromebox is $329 USD.

The Chromebox is being joined by a new generation of Chromebooks that will also benefit from performance gains.

"The new Chromebook and Chromebox, based on Intel Core processors, are nearly three times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks," Go

ogle stated in a blog post. "And support for hardware-accelerated graphics, a built-from-scratch multi-touch trackpad and an open-source firmware stack provide a much faster and more responsive computing experience."

While Chrome OS is all about using the Google Cloud and its associated apps as a way to un-tether users from the traditional computing model, Google now has a solution for those that still want access to a traditional PC too. The Chrome Remote Desktop Beta, provides a remote VPN into a user's desktop that provides access to a PC or Mac.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Tags: Google, Chrome OS, Chromebooks

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