The new Google Chrome operating system isn’t like Windows, Mac or Linux. For one thing, it will make your computer turn on faster than a TV does. For another, it can’t change files on your computer. Your programs and files exist only on the web. The nice thing about that is that if you lose your computer, you don’t lose programs or data. Borrow any machine and you’ll still see your own stuff, as soon as you log in.

If you want your files to exist somewhere other than on the Internet, you can also plug in a USB drive and the contents open up in their own window,  called a “panel.”

Tech-y types can download the beta version of the Chrome OS  here. To make it work, you need the free “VMPlayer,” which allows Chrome OS to run “virtually,” without changing your own operating system. VMPlayer is easiest to download here at

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