It’s crazy to think, but Chrome OS and Chromebooks have been a reality for 10 years at this point. Honestly, that feels a little hard to believe. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what’s coming next and what new features are on the horizon that it’s easy to forget how simplistic things started out with Chromebooks. I remember when I first heard of Chrome OS and how it was slated to be a pared-down take on the classic operating system. As soon as I was able, I flashed a bootable USB with the original Chrome OS image, plugged it into my Windows laptop, boooted from the drive and proceeded to test out Google’s vision for what an OS could be. Spoiler alert – I wasn’t very impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Google Chrome and I loved the idea of cloud-based computing even back then, but the idea of logging into a laptop that only gave me full-screen Chrome tabs felt pretty claustrophobic. I played with the install for about an hour and decided I’d wait to see what – if anything – would come of Google’s grand vision for the future laptops. Little did I know at that time that my interest in Chrome OS would become what I do for a living a decade later.
From those humble beginnings, Chrome OS has matured into a robust, productive operating system and has grown up a lot in 10 years. With the newest release – Chrome OS 89 – we’re looking at big features like more useful Virtual Desks, a phone hub that keeps your phone and Chromebook more connected, and tools like holding space and global media controls that simply make spending the entire day on your Chromebook simpler and more refined. It’s a far cry from basic window management fixes that we saw 10 years ago and a massively-different OS than what I originally booted up on that Windows laptop.
Yet, as these new features keep getting added and Chrome OS keeps gaining more abilities with things like Android apps, Linux apps, and Windows apps via container technologies, the core parts of the formula remain intact. Speed, simplicity and security are the pillars of Chrome OS, and they are all still present even though things have become more elaborate. Chromebooks still get faster over time, they still run better on less hardware than competing laptops, they still keep the end user experience simplified and are the most secure laptops you can get your hands on. Put plainly: Simple doesn’t have to mean incapable and powerful doesn’t have to mean complex.
And all this growth, all this maturation, all this evolution is cause for a bit of celebration as Google marks the 10th anniversary of our favorite OS. As part of that celebration, we’ve partnered with Google to offer a very special, very unique and very exclusive giveaway to our readers and viewers. The special edition CityLite Pro Sleeve from Targus was made especially for Google to commemorate this milestone occasion. It is a limited release that won’t be around forever, and we have 20 of them to give away, graciously provided from Google. There’s a spot below where you can get entered to win and in the event that you don’t win one, there’s a way to outright purchase them as well if you head to the Targus store.
It’s a slick, 13.3-inch laptop sleeve that is embroidered with the 4-color bar that first appeared on the original Chromebook Pixel and is a subtle nod to the earlier days of Chrome OS and Chromebooks coming into their own. Oh, and there are some pretty sweet stickers that will accompany these sleeves as well that will only be in the box as part of the Chrome Unboxed exclusive giveaway. We’re super-grateful to Google for allowing us to be part of this giveaway and, as always, extremely excited to be able to give away cool stuff here on the site and YouTube Channel. So don’t wait: hop down and get entered to win one of these exclusive sleeves and, as always, good luck!
Chrome OS 10th Birthday Giveaway