Google’s attempt to take on the PC market hasn’t been great. The launch of the Chromebook has been met with a pretty underwhelming response, and the general opinion is that they can do pretty much everything a normal laptop can do, with added limitations.
Google have clearly tried to end these thoughts in the latest update of the Chrome Operating System, but they might not have done themselves any favours.
Included in the update is the inclusion of customizable wallpapers. This shouldn’t have been a feature worth mentioning, wallpapers have been customizable on other platforms for over a decade now. Wallpapers should have been included in the original Chrome OS, or at least silently added through an update rather than expressing it as a ‘new’ feature in the video above.
Another new feature is the taskbar at the bottom, where you can pin your favourite applications and launch them quicker from other windows. Chrome OS now also allows you to have two windows open side by side, so you can type a document and watch a Youtube clip at the same time.
The features I have mentioned so far are not new, and not revolutionary. It looks like Google have backed down to the pressure of what people are already used to, and attempted to replicate that. The taskbar at the bottom is something that has been in Windows since almost the beginning, with the pinning made available in Windows 7, while the Aero Snap feature has also been around for a number of years.
At heart, a Chromebook is still a Chromebook. It runs the successful web browser, Google Chrome, which uses a number of cloud based applications such as document creators, image viewers and games to replicate the standard PC experience, only quicker. However the new features which Google have introduced this week shows that there currently isn’t a web browser, no matter how fast and efficient, that can offer the same capabilities as a standard PC or Mac, and the Chromebook is slowly starting to shift.