It’s downright astounding how much difference a decade can make.
In May 2011, Google’s defiantly minimalist new computing platform—a little something the company called Chrome OS—shipped to consumers for the first time, on laptops from Samsung and Acer. That was the culmination of a journey that began when Google unveiled Chrome OS in the summer of 2009 and continued with an experimental prototype called the Cr-48 in December 2010.
It’s easy to forget now, but Chrome OS got its name because at the beginning, it was quite literally the Chrome operating system. The earliest versions of Chrome OS revolved entirely around the browser, with a deliberate omission of any traditional operating system elements.