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After I watched yesterday’s webcast by Google on Chrome OS, I got a bit curious about their cloud printing thing and thought would give it a test to see if it really works. So, I took the Chrome Browser Dev Channel 9.0.597.10 and setup/enabled Cloud Printing on my home laptop (Windows 7, 64bit) which is connected to my Canon PIXMA printer (via Wi-Fi). The Cloud Print Connector nicely recognized the printer and showed it on the printer management page:

Chrome Cloud Printer Management

Then from my Mac Book I went to the Cloud Print test page (http://www.google.com/landing/cloudprint/win-enable.html) and fired up a test page to the Canon printer:

Cloud Print Test Page

When you click Print a test page button, you get to select a printer available on the Cloud Printing enabled PC (in my case in was my home laptop):

Select Cloud Printer

The job gets queued, which can be seen back at the printer management page:

Job Queued

After a couple of minutes, Chrome browser on my laptop automatically picks up the test page job and feeds to the selected printer, the job goes to the Completed print jobs list (refresh the above page after a minute or two):

Job Completed

And the test page is this!!

Chrome Cloud Print Test Page

As Google claims, cloud printing is still in early stages and the above UI all subject to change.

I am sure by the time this post appears on my blog site, many around the world would have talked about it, but here are my observations after watching the webcast yesterday by Google.

  1. 3S ‘that drive Chrome (OS and the browser) are: Speed, Simplicity & Security
    • Sundar (VP, Product Development of Google) compared the performance of Chrome browser’s JavaScript engine performance with IE and how Chrome outperforms IE by 100x in JS performance. But, the world also uses Firefox and Opera? How does it compare with these two browsers? No mention of it.
    • Chrome extensively uses GPU to render desktop app-like graphics
    • Update: Same user experience wherever you use Chrome: All your browser settings,
      installed extensions, themes, etc. all synced on whichever machine you use
      Chrome browser when synchronization enabled. Indeed, this is one of my very
      favorite features too. Firefox also has the same feature but not many know about
      it.
  2. Web Store
    • Update: A web “application” in Chrome’s world is a web application that runs inside a
      browser (hosted or packaged) with optional offline capability (for packaged
      only). There is no local Windows app-like install.
    • Primarily a channel for Google partners to sell their web applications targeting Chrome OS & browser
    • Web applications may work offline too so that you can still use them when you are offline
    • Amazon, New York Times and few other partners demonstrated their web applications for Chrome
    • Update: The web store was opened for public with more than 500 web applications
      already (Check out http://chrome.google.com/webstore).
    • Update: An interesting demo was given by Citrix. As you know, Citrix specializes in
      application virtualization and run applications with zero local foot print.
      Citrix Receiver now supports Chrome OS and they showed launching various
      Microsoft Office apps via Chrome OS. This I believe will be beneficial for the
      field staff that can carry a slim light-weight Chrome notebook but access
      applications via Chrome itself. Given the offline capabilities, this can prove
      even more useful if do not have any connectivity. 
  3. Chrome OS
    • Fully web-oriented with Google’s philosophy that applications in future will reside on the web (cloud based) and browsers are simply a gateway to use them. Example: Google Office applications
    • ISV/Developers can develop & add more applications and downloaded via Web Store
    • When you buy a Chrome notebook, all it requires is a 3-step setup process to go up and running
    • Web apps and Chrome OS are always up-to-date and “feel fresh”!
    • All the in-built apps in Chrome OS are Google’s web-based applications with offline capability (but Google feels that we all connected one way or the other: WiFi, LAN, 3G, EDGE/GPRS, etc.)
    • Instant sleep/resume when you close/open the Chrome notebook lid – demonstrated well! :-)
    • Chrome notebooks will not have function keys and Caps Lock!
    • Samsung and Acer will release Chrome notebooks mid 2011; prices are still being worked out
    • Powered by Intel processors (no mention what type of processor)
    • Update: Inbuilt guest mode: Hand your notebook to your friends without worrying
      about whether he/she will have access to your browser data. First, all data is
      encrypted; second, the guest mode opens the browser interface in “Incognito” mode.
    • Update: No user-accessible hard disk! Yet whatever Chrome OS stores (local or cloud)
      will all be encrypted 
    • Update: First consumer OS to have “Verified Boot” feature. A minimal version of
      Chrome OS is stored in an EPROM (firmware) chip with no developer-accessible API (Chrome extension APIs) access. On powering
      on, this firmware OS starts and verifies the rest of the
      Chrome OS code is not tampered with and came only from Google code base. Only after this
      verification, the regular boot process kicks off. If any attack or modification is
      found, the firmware OS initiates recovery process. As secured as possible unless someone replaces the EPROM chip itself! ;-)  
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