Chromium PC: Chrome OS on Your Desktop
With the Chrome OS laptops being released this summer, it seems that desktop PCs might be overlooked. One company, however is releasing a Chrome-OS based desktop
Xi3 is releasing the Chromium PC, a machine with a small form factor that runs Google’s cloud-based OS. The computer’s design is very stylish, seeming to resemble something you’d find in a kitchen instead of in a den or an office. It reminds me of the old NeXT Cube and Power Mac G4 cube. The case, however, is all metal, befitting the Chromium theme. The Chromium PC is based on Xi3′s earlier modular computer.
The machine features a dual-core processor and is modular. It comes with a Processor module and two I/O Modules. Need to swap out a component? Just break out your screwdriver, open up the case, and replace the old module with your new module. It’s that easy. The Processor Module, appropriately enough, houses the CPU and the RAM. The Primary I/O module holds the communication ports, and the Secondary I/O module holds the video and power conections.
“Historically, the vast majority of operating systems have been installed and run locally on computers,” Xi3 president and CEO Jason A. Sullivan said in a press release. “But as technology has advanced and people have become more and more comfortable with using Web-based applications and storing data away from their computer, specifically ‘in the cloud,’ it only makes sense that operating systems will become cloud-based. In fact, we expect that over time we’ll see many operating systems that are wire-bound and require the computer to be connected to the Internet to run, and we will likely support these new operating systems as well.”
The computer is intended to go on sale on July 4, Independence Day in the U.S. The company is hoping that buyers will “declare independence” from local storage. (Quite a few people think that cloud computing actually makes users dependent of companies like Google, but that’s another story.)