Image Source:Engadget

Google has released the beta version of the Chrome OS and it has packaged it into a Google laptop ( yes, the Big G appears to be inching its way into hardware products), the Cr-48.

The device is a developer only laptop with design cues reminiscent of the matte black MacBook sans the Caps Lock and Command keys. It’s powered by a single core Intel Atom N450 processor which appears to demonstrate lag when dealing with applications such as Flash.

The device and the OS were previewed by the folks at Engadget. Click on this link for the post.

The advent of cloud based OSs such as Chrome and Jollicloud mark the beginnings of a paradigm shift from a desktop PC workstation to the cloud. Mobile computing has already changed with the advent of the internet tablet form factor devices such as the iPhone. Is this shift to the cloud via the Chrome OS too great a leap at this point in time? Will there be a huge uptake in consumer sales for a cloud based device?

These are two pertinent questions that will determine the initial success of the OS. Sure, it may not be a massive seller but if Chrome OS manages to capture a sizebale number of early adopters without being relegated to a niche category, it is a good start for comsumer cloud based computing.

Early days, but interesting ones nonetheless.

Update Friday, 17/12/2010:

Ars Technica has posted a review of the CR-48 and Chrome OS. It’s a well written review and definitely worth a read. Click on this link for the source article.