As well as announcing a pair of new Chromebooks at its developers conference last night, Google also detailed updates to Chrome OS and its Chrome Web Store, which is now available worldwide.
Chrome OS is undoubtedly revolutionary. Getting people to completely change the way they use their laptops is not going to be an easy sell and for many the idea of working completely in the cloud just won’t work. People tend to like to see their files on their desktop rather than somewhere in the ether, but Google’s take on an OS could be the start of a huge sea-change in the way we work on our laptops. At Google I/O last night it outlined improvements to its OS including making Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar available offline. There will also be a revamped file manager and for our American cousins there will be support for Netflix and Hulu to give the Chromebooks more multimedia credentials. One of the main selling points of Chrome OS is the automatic updates and we would expect updates like these to be added continuously during the life of the Chromebooks.
The Chrome Web Store was launched along with the original Cr-48 last December but as the test laptops were only sent out to US users, the Web Store was also confined to the 50 states. Now however, ahead of the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks launch on 15 June in Europe the Web Store has gone global. The Chrome browser has an install base of 160 million and users in Europe and elsewhere in the world will now be able to access the Web Store. It will be available in 41 different languages and Google has added in-app purchases where it will take only a flat five percent fee.
And for those of you who have been waiting to get Angry Birds on your browser, well the wait is over as Rovio Mobile announced at Google I/O that its wildly successful game is now available in the Chrome Web Store. The game has been built using WebGL and uses local-caching for offline access. At the moment there isn’t access to the game through other browsers but as it's built in WebGL we’d imagine it will be available elsewhere soon.
Source: Google Blog