You may know When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth as a goofy humans-coexisting-withdinosaurs
movie from the 1970s. However, in technology circles, “When Dinosaurs
Ruled the Earth” refers to a grim humans-coexisting-with-mainframes story from
the 1970s. I refer, of course, to IBM and its brontosaurus-size computers (called
mainframes). Those hulking machines aren’t extinct (for example, they’re still used
for massive tasks such as airline scheduling, payroll processing, and tracking Lost
plotlines), but they were supplanted by a couple of kids in a garage who founded
Microsoft and built the Windows-centric world we live in today.
However, Microsoft is now more than 35 years old and has dominated the desktop for
most of that time. Is Microsoft the new dinosaur of the tech world? If so, then what
digital mammals are looking to take over that world? (Man, stretching metaphors
can be so tiring!) Most pundits and prognosticators think it just might be Google.
This nimble and adaptable company already dominates search and online advertising,
and now it’s taking more or less direct aim at Microsoft with a new operating system
called Google Chrome OS.
But Google’s goal isn’t to dominate the desktop, because there is no desktop in
Chrome OS. Instead, everything happens online: creating documents, spreadsheets,
and presentations, collaborating with other people, e-mailing, sharing photos, you
name it. It’s a radically new way of computing, and if you find the whole idea headscratchingly
odd and more than a little confusing, then you’ve come to the right
place. Welcome to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Google Chrome and Chrome OS.
In this book, you’ll learn everything you need to know (but thankfully not everything
there is to know) about Google Chrome OS and its tied-at-the-hip partner, the
Google Chrome web browser—from understanding this “cloud computing” business
that lies at the heart of Google Chrome OS to configuring the system, surfing with
Chrome, to getting things done “out there” where Chrome OS lives. All that and I
promise you we’ll even have a bit of fun while we’re at it.