Splashtop Linux is a free Chrome OS browser-based alternative
PC World - Web surfers tired of waiting for the official release of hardware featuring Google's Chrome OS now have a browser-based alternative right at their fingertips: Splashtop Linux 1.0, a downloadable instant-on operating system tailored to life in the cloud.
Splashtop Linux has already been around for some time as an OEM-installed Linux distribution on hardware from vendors including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and LG. On Wednesday, however, its maker released the instant-on operating system as a free download, making it widely available to anyone.
"For people who spend all their time using Web apps and services like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox Google Docs and Gmail, adding a fast, safe and secure browser-centric environment to the traditional desktop-oriented environment makes total sense," said Phil Sheu, CTO and co-founder of Splashtop Inc. "With Splashtop OS, users don't need to buy new dedicated hardware, and they don't need to wait for six months."
The lightweight, Web-centric operating system is not only optimized for notebooks and netbooks, but it's actually designed as a "companion OS" that co-exists with Windows. Even based on Chromium, Splashtop includes the Google Chrome browser and the Bing search engine. It provides one-click access to the Chrome Web Store for easy installation of thousands of web apps, games, extensions and themes.
Settings Automatically Imported
Splashtop Linux includes no native applications beyond the Chromium-based browser, and it boots in seconds directly into a start screen featuring a Bing-powered search box. A raft of core plug-ins are pre-installed, including Adobe Flash.
With support for a wide variety of hardware, Splashtop OS sets up easily alongside Windows by automatically importing numerous critical settings from Microsoft's operating system. Web apps, extensions, games and themes can be imported from the Chrome Web Store to personalize the user's experience.
"We picked a Linux kernel version to achieve good hardware compatibility with majority of the PCs from the past few years," explains Sheu in a company blog. "2.6.32 isn't the latest and greatest, but is an ideal platform to make both new and old Wi-Fi chips, audio codecs, and other PC peripherals work. We make use of the SquashFS filesystem and special X11 architecture to cut down on the boot time."
No Separate Installer
Indeed, Splashtop's boot menu allows users to choose between Splashtop OS and Windows upon start-up, requiring no separate installer. Splashtop's maker--formerly known as DeviceVM--estimates that its operating system can be successfully installed on the majority of PC notebooks and netbooks that have shipped in the last three years.
I don't know about you, but I'm not sure why anyone would feel the need to wait for Chrome OS devices. Splashtop is proven, and it's downloadable today. If you value speed and a Web focus, it's time to check it out.
Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk .
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Linux and Unix White Papers | Webcasts