Google’s upcoming Chrome Operating System is designed to put the net back into netbooks. It’s basically an operating system built around a web browser. While it will have some offline capabilities that will allow you to do things like watch cached videos and read cached web sites while you’re not near an internet connection, the browser will be the main application. If you want to run an office suite to create and edit documents, Google will suggest Google Docs or other web-based office suites such as Zoho. Want to listen to music? How about Pandora or Lala?
But just because there are no native desktop apps doesn’t mean there won’t be an app launcher. The latest pre-release builds of Google Chrome, compiled by Hexxeh, includes an app launcher that you can open up with the click of a button to launch web apps.
Don’t feel like installing a pre-release copy of Chrome OS just to check it out? No problem. The desktop Chrome browser for Windows packs many of the exact same features that you’ll find in the Chrome-based operating system. And Download Squad’s Lee Mathews notes that you can add a command line switch to Chrome for Windows to add a program launcher. Changing this switch will replace the new tab page with the app launcher.
If you’re worried that this means you won’t be able to load bookmarks, don’t worry. You can still just type into the Omnibox at the top of the app launcher to search your bookmarks or page history. Or you can enter a new URL in the box to open a web site.