Google remakes its web-based Chrome OS to look more like Windows

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    Google remakes its web-based Chrome OS to look more like Windows

    Google's experiment to replace Microsoft Windows on low end PCs and netbooks with its own web browser-based Chrome OS has failed, resulting in an effort to make the product look more like a conventional desktop.


    First outlined in July 2009, Google's Chrome OS was supposed to improve upon the PC experience by replacing the complexity of Windows with a simple, stripped down version of Linux hosting a web based environment modeled upon the Chrome browser, running HTML5 web apps.

    "People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up," Google stated at the time. "They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them."

    Google also said Chrome OS would be "going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates."

    In November of 2009. the company outlined more details about Chrome OS, which at the time largely targeted Windows netbooks. Just months later, however, Apple launched its own alternative to the low end PC: iPad.

    No love for Chrome OS

    While Apple had trouble producing enough iPads to meet demand, Google has seen limited interest in Chrome OS at all, despite creating its own Cr-48 prototype hardware for developers and licensing the design of "Chromebooks" running the new system to PC makers such as Acer and Samsung.

    By the end of 2010, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, who had since left Google for Facebook, predicted "ChromeOS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android)," while open source evangelist Richard Stallman complained ChromeOS was an attempt to "push people into careless computing."

    While Apple's iPad seemed to obliterate the demand for netbooks, it also stoked entirely new markets for tablet computing in education, marketing, government, healthcare and a variety of specialized markets ranging from airline flight bags to point of sale devices. Chrome OS hasn't blazed any sort of trails however.

    While Chrome OS-based netbooks running both Intel x86 and ARM chips were supposed to ship by the middle of 2010, Google postponed its launch plans to the middle of 2011.

    New polish for old Chrome

    In May of 2011, Google floated plans for subscription-based "Chromebook" hardware that could be rented for $20 per month for students or $28 for business users.

    In August of last year, Gartner indicated that all alternative PC platforms running Linux would remain niche operating systems with less than 2 percent market share. The company said it did not expect Google's Chrome OS or Android, nor HP's Palm webOS, to gain any significant market share in the next few years, citing application compatibility issues.

    In an apparent new bid to salvage Chrome OS, Google is now revamping the system to look more familiar to Windows users, with a Windows 7 Start-like app launcher and taskbar, and a new "flexible windowing system" called Aura that provides "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration."






    Chrome OS vs Android vs Windows 8

    In addition to being blindsided by iPad, Chrome OS has also fought with Android for attention from developers interested in Google's future plans. Throughout last year, Google focused on tablet form factor products with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a product that largely overlapped upon the target audience of Chrome OS.

    Android 3.0 Honeycomb ultimately didn't have much impact upon the tablet market, and was forced to compete against earlier, incompatible versions of Android used by low end tablet products from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Going forward, Google now faces entrenched competition from Apple's rapidly evolving iPad and its iOS ecosystem, with the $399 iPad 2 and the new Retina Display iPad starting at $499.

    The company will also battle Microsoft for the attention of PC makers trying to enter the tablet market later this year, as Windows 8 ships in a version that can run on more efficient ARM-based devices.

    Google has launched a series of web-based products that it ultimately canceled, including Google Answers, Buzz, Catalog, Checkout, Dodgeball, Froogle, Jaiku, Knol, Labs, Lively, Notebook, SearchWiki, Wave, and 411.

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    YouTube Live gets pro desktop app, pay-per-view

    YouTube Live marks anniversay with additions



    Google's YouTube Live got a trio of pro-level tools on Tuesday to mark its anniversary. A new variant of Wirecast is tailored specifically to controlling a live stream and can tap into multiple camera or audio sources. The free app allows for live effects and graphics as well as dropping in static files.

    Concerts, sports, and other elaborate events can also now start generating revenue from live streams. Ads are an option as with pre-recorded clips, but they can also charge outright for access. Costs can vary by the country.

    A final set of web tools now both streamline the flow of creating and testing a live event as well as providing real-time analytics. The additions help both give a smooth start and give an idea as to ratings, server loads, and even the most common resolution.

    YouTube only provides support for live streams to some members that qualify, although its promotion of dedicated original channels has widened the scope.

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    Updated Acrobat and Reader X release notes




    Common questions about updates

    Why should I update?
    Security and improved functionality. Updates safeguard your system against malicious attacks through PDF files.

    Are updates free?
    Yes. Only new, major versions of Acrobat must be purchased.

    How long is the installation time?

    Updates take only a few minutes to install.

    Why so many updates?

    Because PDFs are used so universally, they can be a target for hackers. Adobe provides regular updates to safeguard your computer from attacks. If you've gotten multiple update messages, make sure the last update fully installed. Some browsers download to a separate update window. In these browsers, double-click the Reader or Acrobat file to complete the installation.

    How do I change the update frequency or disable updates?

    Go to Preferences > Categories > Updater and set a Check For Updates option. For more information, see this technote.

    If you have trouble opening a note, right-click and save the file to your desktop.


    Date Release

    Notes Release

    Type* Focus

    Apr 10, 2012 10.1.3 Q Latest release. This is a regular quarterly update that provides security mitigations, feature enhancements, and bug fixes.

    Jan 10, 2012 10.1.2 Q This is a regular quarterly update that provides security mitigations, feature enhancements, and bug fixes.

    Sept 13, 2011 10.1.1 Q This a regular quarterly update with security enhancements, improvements to stability, and bug fixes.

    Jun 14, 2011 10.1 Q This is a major update that provides security fixes, feature updates, and major enhancements such as Protected View for Acrobat.

    Apr 21, 2011 10.0.3 OOC This patch fixes a vulnerability and provides an updated Flash player.

    Mar 21, 2011 10.0.2 OOC This patch fixes a vulnerability and provides an updated Flash player.

    Feb 8 2011 10.0.1 Q Numerous security fixes as well as improvements to Protected Mode, QTP support, Flash, and support for SCCM via newly released SCUP catalogs.

    Nov 2010 10.0 Major A phased release with new features: Nov 15 - Acrobat EFGJ, Nov 18 - Reader EFGJ: Nov 18, Dec 12 - Acrobat and Reader for all other languages.


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