Google’s Chromebooks are one of the newest and fastest growing computer platforms available on the market. They differ wildly from traditional PC and Mac systems in almost all areas. Google is making a large push to put Chrome OS into the hands of businesses, consumers, and education departments. What is the draw of Chrome OS? Is it right for your business? Read on to learn more.
Chromebook: Laptop running Chrome OS
Chromebox: 'Desktop’ running Chrome OS – these are very small, about the size of a router
Chrome OS: A New Kind of Operation System
Chrome OS is the operating system that runs on all chrome devices. It is a stripped down, ultra-fast operating system whose goal is to deliver content as fast as possible, without burdening either the user or the operating system with other tasks. The operating system is designed to work in an “always online” environment – meaning that a wireless internet connection is nearly always available.
Security and Staying Up to Date
The OS is updated automatically by Google. User features, security improvements, OS improvements, and all other updates are done automatically behind the scenes, with no burden to the user. Due to its always online nature, and constant updates, Chrome OS is incredible secure – perhaps the most secure computing available.
Software and Capabilities
The OS has familiar applications for the Chrome web browser: Google Docs, and Google Drive, as well as a large number of other apps for everything from games to programming environments. These apps are installed through the Chrome web store. “Pro” apps, such as Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office are not available, although there are many alternatives to get similar functionality. For example: consider using Google Docs or Microsoft’s Web Version of Office (which is available on the Chrome app store) instead of office. Photo and video editing applications are available, but not nearly as fully featured as something like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.
IT Management Capabilities: A Fleet of Chromebooks
Google’s web-based management system makes it extremely easy to deploy and control as many Chromebooks as needed. A few features available in the management console are:
What Does the Chromebook do Differently?
The main difference between a Chromebook and Windows laptop is the usage of the cloud. With Chrome OS, everything is automatically backed up and stored into the cloud. You can go to a completely different Chromebook, login to your google account, and instantly have the exact same content and experience as your original Chromebook. The Chromebook is meant as a lightweight option for getting all online work done. Whether the work be email, video conferencing, document creation and editing, or simple web browsing, Chrome OS excels.
Who is the Chromebook For?
The Chromebook is designed for the user who does not typically leave the web browser, and is not a ‘power user’ of Microsoft Office (uses many of the advanced features that Office offers on top of simple document creation and editing). The Chromebook is also a ‘disposable’ device, meaning that the physical Chromebook that is being used is not important. All you need is any Chrome OS device, and an internet connection, and all of your data and preferences will be immediately available. This makes the upgrading of hardware extremely easy, since all you have to do is power up the new machine and login to your Google account.
Who is the Chromebook Not For?
As mentioned in the software section, ChromeOS does not have many of the professional apps available in Windows or Mac. If you rely on Adobe software, CAD software, the pro features of Office, or other proprietary or unique software, then Chrome OS will not work for you.
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