Google Chrome OS and what it means for you

July 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Reprinted with permission from my original article featured on the TalkTalk official blog

There is a new operating system in town and it’s built by Google…

This month the search giant announced ‘Chrome OS’ – a strange name you’d think because it is named after the Google Chrome web browser. Surely what is usually just one component of an operating system should not be the inspiration for it? After all you don’t see Microsoft announcing ‘Internet Explorer OS’.

In actual fact however this is exactly what Chrome OS is, an operating system named after a web browser which is its inspiration and core. The argument is simple: research shows users now spend the majority of their time on a computer using the web browser and Google believes elements traditionally outside it can be seamlessly integrated in time. This strategy includes an impending redesign of Google Docs which it hopes will tempt users away from Microsoft Office.

Chrome Google Chrome OS and what it means for you

So is Google OS simply an operating system which loads a web browser? In short we don’t know. What we do know it is will be open source so anyone can develop for it and that it will be built upon Linux, the same core behind the increasingly popular Ubuntu platform. Google says the benefits of Chrome OS will be extremely fast boot times and much faster operation on old and low powered PCs compared to Windows.

Moving your data onto the internet means that users will be able to access it from any computer and the theory is it should be much more secure with the might of Google looking after it (conspiracy theories aside). Furthermore, if your computer breaks or is stolen then that data is safe. Critically it will also be free.

The drawbacks? We simply don’t know enough about Chrome OS yet. Google recently published a Chrome OS FAQ which confirmed major PC makers such as Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba are interested but up to now we haven’t been presented with so much as a screenshot. Google Gears will allow common online tasks such as Gmail and Google Docs to be used offline but it is still awaiting widespread industry acceptance. It is also unclear how Google will tackle popular pastimes such as gaming with Chrome OS though the OnLive Cloud based streaming model may become paramount here.

The relevance of Chrome OS however is clear. Google sees the future of computing online. As the most powerful company on the Internet that could be expected but the cost savings, performance benefits and accessibility of information online does make for a compelling argument. That said, I would stress expectations are tempered, at least initially. The first version of Chrome OS will not arrive until the second half of 2010 and Google is a company which famously likes to beta test in public so expect things to be extremely rough and ready at first.

In the meantime, whether Google or Microsoft has the right approach, there is one indisputable fact which cannot be ignored: in future we’re going to be spending even more of our time online and what we do with it will become ever more advanced. So be sure to grab yourself a fast and reliable broadband connection and hold on tight!

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Top 5 Gadget Recommendations

July 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Reprinted with permission from my original article featured on the TalkTalk official blog

Navigating the tech jungle can be hazardous at the best of times, but following a flood of summer releases just what are the most desirable gadgets now available on the market? I’ve come up with a Top 5 list designed to hit different product types and budgets, so let’s kick on…

MP3 Players

Sansa%20Clip Top 5 Gadget RecommendationsThis category may be slowly swallowed by ever more capable mobile phones but if you want a cheap and cheerful purchase you can’t do much better than the venerable SanDisk Sansa Clip. Apple may rule the roost with the iPod line but the Clip is everything the iPod shuffle wishes it could be. Unlike the shuffle it sports a screen, sequential playback, an FM radio and microphone recorder. Battery life is also 50 per cent better than the shuffle at 15 hours from a single charge and while tiny (29 grams) the Clip isn’t so small you’ll lose it down the back of the sofa. Perhaps best of all however is the price with an 8GB Clip costing just £39 and a 4GB Clip a mere £29. An iPod shuffle? £59 for 4GB. Ladies and gentlemen we know where most people’s money goes, but this is where you put the smart money.

Cameras

Pen%20E P1 Top 5 Gadget RecommendationsEver wish you could have the quality of a professional DSLR digital camera combined with the small, lightweight convenience of a compact? The Olympus Pen E-P1 could just be the first camera to do it. Launched just last month, it employs ‘Micro Four Thirds technology’ to cut down on overall bulk without sacrificing image quality. Furthermore, just like a professional camera the lenses on the E-P1 can be swapped for different sizes and even a dedicated Flashgun can be fitted on top. The Pen E-P1 will also shoot High Definition video and features HDMI output so it can be plugged straight into a TV to view your latest masterpieces. It doesn’t come cheap with prices starting from £599.99, but right now there is nothing else like it.

Netbooks

Samsung%20NC10 Top 5 Gadget RecommendationsThe laptop has long eaten away at sales of the desktop PC but it seems in these recession haunted times that the new ultra portable, low cost ‘netbook’ category is quickly devouring laptops. A flood of virtually indistinguishable models have landed thanks to Microsoft imposing ‘maximum specifications’ on manufacturers, but the best of these to date is the unassuming sub £300 Samsung NC10. It may not be the most beautiful, but the NC10 is superbly built, features a fantastic keyboard, bright screen and outstanding battery life (more than six hours on a single charge). The newer Samsung N120 will soon replace it, but with a £60 price premium for virtually no difference you’re best snapping up the NC10 while you still can.

Camcorders

FlipVideoUltraHD Top 5 Gadget RecommendationsJust a few years ago High Definition video recording was only available in professional production equipment costing tens of thousands of pounds. How times change. Like the netbook market, budget camcorders have also exploded onto the scene over the last 12 months. The FlipVideo line is arguably the most successful and the launch of the Flip Video Ultra High Definition Camcorder this month brings High Definition recording into the palm of your hand for just £159. Operation is simply a matter of point and shoot, there’s two hours worth of recording courtesy of the 8GB of onboard storage and you can also take still shots. If you enjoy sharing content the UltraHD’s built in software can automatically upload it to YouTube, batteries are replaceable and there’s even an HDMI port so everything you record can be displayed straight from your device onto an HDTV. Goodbye expensive camcorders.

 

 

 

Mobile Phones

iphone%203GS Top 5 Gadget RecommendationsFinally, and perhaps predictably, we can’t have a gadget roundup without mentioning the new iPhone 3GS (available at Carphone Warehouse – Ed). It may have been more evolution than revolution but Apple’s third generation handset remains king of the hill thanks to a focus on craftsmanship in a sector too long dominated by specifications. If you can afford the steep tariffs proposed by O2 (a network believed to be coming to the end of its iPhone exclusivity) the 3GS is without doubt the best mobile phone money can buy. If you’re looking for a sneaky sixth recommendation and the iPhone 3GS proves a little too rich for your blood check out the HTC Magic on Vodafone. Built on top of Google’s exciting Android mobile phone operating system it may lack the glamour of the iPhone but Google doesn’t like to be second with anything and it remains a hugely impressive handset on a fast evolving platform. In fact this time next year it may just be Apple iPhones which are the poor man’s Google phone.

 

 

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

June Apollo Tech Journalist UK Rankings

July 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Make of them what you will people. These table indicate who are the most prolific UK technology journalists, nothing more.

Table links for December, January, February, March, April and May.

apollo June Apollo Tech Journalist UK Rankings

Apollo Surveys Top Journalists June 2009

Full details of the number of stories and total word counts are available here.

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