CloudReady is an open source alternative to Windows and Mac based on the Google Chrome OS system, which is only pre-installed from the factory in the Chromebooks of the Mountain View firm. But now there is a good way to taste Chrome OS on our computer and we tell you that it has surprised us.
The first thing we must do to start using this system is to enter this link and then we will choose the installer for our operating system.
The file does not weigh many GB but from the page advise to use a USB disk of 8 or 16GB (only) and that is not SanDisk brand (something curious by the way).
An Internet connection is necessary to enter our user although there is a ‘guest mode’.
The first thing you see is a screen that has three settings that belong to the language that we use, the keyboard layout you want to define and finally we will have an option that will allow us to choose the network you want to connect, immediately afterwards the system will request our Gmail user and our password to finally access the main screen.
Once inside this operating system we find a familiar interface that resembles the appearance of many versions of GNU Linux, in the lower right corner we will have the system tray, (from where we can configure the keyboard language, system time, etc.) on the left side we have the Google application menu and Chrome, all well located and easy to distinguish.
Chrome is Chrome!
When starting Chrome, we see the typical tabbed screen of this browser and some configuration options but here the differences end with other Chrome in Windows, Linux or Mac, the aspect is the same but with a kind of ‘Control Panel’ inside from where we can control aspects of the basic Chrome OS system and some (few) advanced ones.
The words ‘ lag ‘ or ‘slowness’ cannot be found in the CloudReady dictionary since the response speed is sensational, we can open a video at 1080p 60 FPS plus four or five tabs with web pages and listen Spotify and the system never falls.
It is so stable and fast that we can really see why the schools of the United States prefer this system before Apple or Microsoft.
There has been a lot of talks that Chrome OS is ‘a bad idea’ from the beginning to offer virtually the same user experience as a tablet or mobile with Android and while this is true, Chrome OS has been gaining some strengths over time according to our judgment, they make it an even better alternative to Android in some aspects. Although in any case, these are its limitations:
- We must be connected with internet to log in because the system uses Google account, although there are some apps that can be used offline.
- We cannot install applications that are not from the Chrome Store and although some say that apps from the Play Store are already supported, we have not succeeded in installing applications on our test equipment since it was not listed as an option to install or even recognized as trusted device.
- We have not been successful with running some ‘not Google’ web applications like Microsoft Office Online. Curious no? Maybe this is due to some kind of operating system limitation but we do not know.
- CloudReady in Dual Boot with Windows 10 is only possible if we install it with UEFI enabled first the Microsoft operating system and then the CloudReady system because if we did not do so the installer will stay frozen for hours being the only alternative to turn off our equipment, this function It is in an early phase and its use is not recommended yet.
Home Users View
We could define the experience with Chrome OS as interesting and fluent but if we were a familiar user of Windows we might have been somewhat cold with this system, basically Chrome OS is a system designed for Internet and multimedia but with the condition of being always connected online since most of its functions are not used when we are not connected, we could define it as a system that in some users very used to Windows could be confusing and even at a certain point somewhat it is irritating.
Advanced User View
The perfect word would be ‘it gives a lot of play’ since Chrome OS allows you to demand the system to a point that few systems achieve and it comes out well.
The performance and optimization that Google has done is such that the result is satisfactory, but if we also add the possibility of using the Play Store in the future we could say that it will be possible to open an even wider range of possibilities and that will allow the user to offer an experience more attractive
Chrome OS came out a few years ago and we really did not know what Google was aiming for, but today we can see clearly that they are improving their product that was initially shy and today has gained more confidence and support.
A project that was helped by schools and institutes that could not afford to pay for a Windows license, much less a MacBook or iPad.
The future of Chrome OS we think it will have much to do with Android offering the user the necessary tools to convince him that this is better than what you come using and above with a virtually zero cost if we have the hardware.
CloudReady seeks to bring the Chrome OS experience to users of computers that are not Chromebooks and it does very well, perhaps over time it can be better integrated with Windows 10 and even other operating systems but CloudReady works well and has a future ahead.