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Xi3 ChromiumPC Is First Chrome Desktop

David Gilbert


Xi3's ChromiumPC Is First Chrome Desktop

Whether or not the Chrome OS from Google is going to become a stable of the computing world is still up for debate but one company is banking on it becoming a success by launching the world’s first desktop running the cloud-based OS.

A couple of weeks after we saw the launch of a couple of Chromebooks, Xi3 has launched the Chromium Modular Computer which will run Chrome OS as standard but has been designed to be easily adapted to run any other x86-based operating system. The ChromiumPC is encased in an aluminium chassis, which holds three small but interconnected modules: one processor module and two I/O modules. The press release from Xi3 even goes so far as to give step-by-step instructions on how you would go about modifying your ChromiumPC with different I/O modules. Xi3 indicated that these different I/O modules would be available later this year and that some third-party developers were even developing their own proprietary modules. "The Xi3 Computer Architecture is designed to support any x86-based operating system, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and other open source-based operating systems," said Jason A. Sullivan, president and CEO of Xi3 Corp.

Xi3 ChromiumPC

Xi3 are betting the house on cloud-based operating systems becoming the norm in the coming years, believing that “people have become more and more comfortable with using Web-based applications and storing data away from their computer.” The ChromiumPC processor module will house a single- or dual-core 64-bit, x86-based processor as well as the computer’s memory. The small form factor and shiny chrome finish will appeal to those looking to replace the hulking black mass of plastic currently residing in the corner of the living room, but convincing the general public to use a computer without local storage is another thing entirely. Of course we've already seen the desktop PC shrunk down in the shape of the Sapphire Edge nettop.

The ChromiumPC is due for release on 4 July, allowing customers “to declare their independence from the built-in obsolescence of other computers.” No pricing has been announced yet but we would hold that considering the lack of many ‘standard’ PC components, it will be relatively affordable.

Source: Xi3


May 24, 2011, 5:59 pm

Well based on the standard xi3 costing $849 with an old Athlon Dual Core 3400E 22W CPU then this will most likely not be good value for money.


May 24, 2011, 10:51 pm

I can't understand why Google is persisting in this madness. Sun lost all their billions pursuing this "network is the computer" philosophy, and this ChromeOS stuff is just a 2.0 (well wrapped in XML) rehash of this experiment.

People want to do MORE, not less. The web is great for applications where Google can combine, compute and gain MORE information just from doing it to vast amounts of information collected from thousands of users. Those are the things Google does well and should aim at.

The web is truly bad and pointless when users just want to do their own stuff. Users also don't want constantly updating applications that even change while they're working on them, with no way of not installing updates or falling back to older versions.


May 25, 2011, 8:14 am

the i/o plate i hope becomes the norm,the rest looks like something i bought from china 8 years ago,just recently it seems google are trying so hard to keep in the game they've forgotten they're a software house.


May 25, 2011, 8:25 am

scrub that last bit,i ment advertising house.


May 25, 2011, 2:39 pm

Based on my extensive experience using google spreadsheets, I disagree. It's functionality is being improved all the time, to the point where it is now getting close to Excel. The updates don't negatively impact on my current work at all. In fact, the app stores a COMPLETE history of every change since inception, which desktop spreadsheets don't do. I like the fact I don't need to worry about saving all the time, and my work is instantly accessible on both my work and home computers, and also on my mobile phone. In fact, my home computer is a really old Mac, too old to run either the latest versions of iwork or MS Office. However, Google Spreadsheets runs just fine.

Now I admit that cloud based systems are not without their problems, but those problems are rapidly being eradicated. At the moment, I don't think ChromeOS + webapps is slick quite slick enough to replace a traditional computer. Once I get outside of Google apps, I would have no idea where to go, and how to find out which apps are any good. My next computer will be a traditional laptop. However, the one after that... maybe not.


May 25, 2011, 3:17 pm

My biggest issue with Cloud based computing is putting all your faith in these big companies. Eg, look what happened to Sony & Amazon recently, not been able to play PS3 games online for a month is not as bad as not been able to access a spreadsheet you've spent 2 weeks preparing.

And then there is the security aspect of it, big companies are not immune from been corrupt, who knows what they might end up doing with your data.

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