Google’s web-only Chrome OS (operating system) will hit the consumer market next year, with several major manufacturers selling inexpensive notebooks that boot directly into a web browser–no desktop, no “Start Menu,” no “Dock,” just the web.
Until consumer products become available, Google has loaded Chrome OS onto a prototype notebook known as the Cr-48. It’s meant to showcase how the operating system works and features a few subtle hardware tweaks not found on standard notebooks. Most notably, the Caps Lock key has been replaced by a key that launches a new browser tab, and the top row of function keys has been replaced by browser- and machine-focused keys: back, forward, reload, full screen, brightness, volume and more.
But the hardware isn’t the real story. The software is meant to provide people with a computing experience that “just works.” Everything is backed up automatically, the battery lasts eight hours, there’s free Verizon 3G built in for two years, and viruses ought to be a non-issue. Check out the above video for further details.
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