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Last Thursday, order plan b cod Google offered the world a first peek at its upcoming new operating system Chrome OS (Dutch, order plan b cod English). Order plan b cod Perhaps more importantly, order plan b cod it released the code as open source. Order plan b cod Even though Chrome OS is not expected to hit the market for another year, order plan b cod within hours someone had built an image that you can run on VMWare or VirtualBox. Order plan b cod The image is widely available through p2p-networks, order plan b cod so I decided to give it a spin. (Of course, order plan b cod since it's a precompiled image, order plan b cod it's impossible to tell whether it has been tampered with. Order plan b cod Some malicious hacker may have slipped in a key logger or whatnot. Order plan b cod Chrome OS requires you to log in using your Google credentials, order plan b cod so you may want to create a new account to make sure your real account stays safe. Order plan b cod That's what I did, order plan b cod anyway.) I fired up VirtualBox and created a new machine. Order plan b cod I gave it 1GB of RAM and told VirtualBox we'd be running Debian, order plan b cod the distro Chrome OS is based on. Order plan b cod I pointed VirtualBox to the image, order plan b cod and started the machine. In Thursday's demo, order plan b cod Chrome OS took 7 seconds to boot. Order plan b cod Running on my virtual machine, order plan b cod it needed just under 18 seconds. Order plan b cod Here's the login screen: Chrome OS login screen In Chrome OS, order plan b cod there's no distinction between your local system and the Internet. Order plan b cod Chrome OS is essentially Google's web browser Chrome running on a Linux kernel. Order plan b cod The applications you're running are all web based and displayed in browser tabs, order plan b cod and your data is stored in the cloud. Order plan b cod So I logged in using the Google account I just created. Chrome OS signing in That took me to a Chrome web browser tab that loaded my pristine Gmail inbox. Order plan b cod More interesting however is the Chrome OS logo in the upper left corner of the screen. Order plan b cod It's the tab that gives you access to other web applications Google has preinstalled on your system preselected for use in the Chrome OS cloud. These applications are apparently put on a web page using Google's Short Links service, order plan b cod which is normally part of Google Apps. Order plan b cod I suppose that's why I had to sign in again: Chrome OS Application Menu Sign In Which took me to the actual applications: Chrome OS Application Menu Most of the icons I clicked, order plan b cod opened a browser tab to load a familiar website like Gmail, order plan b cod Google Calendar or YouTube. Order plan b cod Clicking 'Contacts' however opened a 'panel', order plan b cod a small overlay that loaded my Google contacts and let me chat with them using Google Talk, order plan b cod much the same way Google's IM service works from within Gmail: Chrome OS Contacts Panel I also tried the chess game that Google's Sundar Pichai demoed. Order plan b cod It's a Flash game, order plan b cod and you can make it run full screen by pressing F11: Chrome OS Chess Chrome has Flash 10 installed. Order plan b cod Running Chrome OS on a virtual machine is very likely the culprit, order plan b cod but I found that Flash applications consistently made the system become unresponsive. Order plan b cod Both the chess game and my unsuccessful attempts at watching a video on YouTube ended in me rebooting the system. Order plan b cod This also happened when I tried to use the Calculator application, order plan b cod which just opened an empty panel, order plan b cod no Flash involved. VM running Chrome OS had to be rebooted several times Surfing the Internet, order plan b cod I stumbled upon one final interesting bit of information: Chrome's user agent string. Order plan b cod Unlike the Chromium build I'm running on my regular Ubuntu desktop, order plan b cod it does not identify the OS as Linux, order plan b cod but as 'CrOS'. Browser string identifies Chrome OS as 'CrOS' The issues I encountered most likely were caused by the VM. Order plan b cod But instability aside, order plan b cod running Chrome OS is, order plan b cod frankly, order plan b cod not very interesting (yet). I'm sure that will change after another year(!) of development, order plan b cod when netbooks become available that are designed to be used with the OS. But right now, order plan b cod Chrome OS is basically I geeky way to run the Chrome browser and use the web applications you're already familiar with. The user agent string is cool, order plan b cod though.