At Computex, Acer showed off their first netbook run on Google Chrome OS. Most analysts agree that while Acer may be the first company showcasing such a netbook, other companies will soon follow suite due to the strength and flexibility of Google Chrome OS and also because Acer is not the only company to have struck a partnership with Google. Which company will be next?
In a couple weeks — two to be exact — Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer is rumored to be launching netbooks (and possibly other tech devices) that run on the Google Chrome OS. The official display will take place at the Computex Taipei Show that will be held from June 1 to June 5.
It’s still uncertain what other devices the Google Chrome OS will be featured in, but Google has mentioned that smartbooks and tablets running ARM processors would be likely vehicles. There has recently been rumors that Samsung is developing ARM-based smartbooks running Chrome.
Using an OS other than Google Android for netbooks is a good idea. The Android OS is better suited for tablets and cell phones. Google originally planned to release the Chrome operating system during the second half of 2010. The rumored Acer Chrome OS-based netbook is expected to launch in June, so that’s just perfect.
Acer is supposed to show off its new device at Computex Taipei, a yearly computer and electronics show that opens on June 1. Chrome OS was designed for netbooks, smartbooks, and tablets. Acer has said previously that it would have a Chrome OS netbook ready by the middle of 2010. There currently is no word about what the device is going to be.
Other netbook manufacturers have expressed interest in working with Chrome OS, including Dell, though it said that it was still evaluating Chrome OS.
What is unclear right now is the relationship between Chrome OS and Android. Android is intended for mobile devices, like smartphones, but some companies have expressed interest in using it on tablets as well. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says that the two will eventually merge.
Via CNET, image via Google.
According to Google Chief Eric Schmidt, netbooks running on Google’s new Chromium operating system that are expected to be on sale in retail stores by the end of this year or early next year will be priced in the $300-$400 range. “Those prices are completely determined by the costs of the glass, the costs of the processor and things like that, but in our case Chrome OS and Android are free so there is no software tax associated with all of this,” Schmidt says.
Google introduced the Chrome operating system two months ago and boasted it as a lightweight, browser-based OS that could boot up in seven seconds or less. The company has not yet revealed who they will be partnering with to manufacture their new netbooks, but Acer has said that it expects to offer about a million of these devices this year.
Google’s trying hard to get into the netbook market and is up for a fight against its competitors, namely Windows-based devices. Guess we’ll just have to wait to see Google’s latest creation.
Samsung’s Phil Newton has confirmed the company is currently developing a netbook that will run on Google’s Chrome OS. The netbook will be similar to the N210 netbook, and will be released as soon as later this year, or early in 2011. Specifications for the new device are largely unknown, but so far we know that the netbook will have a 12 hour battery life, 3G and wireless connectivity, a 10.1″ screen with LED backlighting, 2 GB RAM, and at least 64 GB of storage. It is likely that the device will run a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Google recently published designs for a Chrome OS tablet that would compete directly with Apple’s newly released iPad. The tablet is still under development, but pictures on Chromium.org give us an idea of what the hardware might look like, and how users might interact with it. Possible features include a 5 to 10 inch screen, on-screen keyboard, and multi-touch capability.
A video demonstrating how users would interact with the tablet is also available for download here.
The tablet is not the first of Google products that aim to rival Apple devices. The Nexus One was launched after the iPhone, and the Chrome OS itself competes with other operating systems – not just Apple’s, but Microsoft’s as well.
Gartner analyst Robin Simpson says that, while it is debatable whether Google or Apple hardware is superior in quality, Apple definitely has the upper hand in terms of giving users better and easier access to content developed by independent third parties. Google seems to be making small steps in achieving a similar “ecosystem” by considering putting Chrome OS onto other devices, not just netbooks.
Via SMH, image via Wired.
Dell engineers have been having some fun with the new operating system that Google recently released to the public, as the massive open source project was released in its preliminary form to developers just a week ago. One Dell tech strategist has already mentioned that he and some of his colleagues want to get Chromium OS running on a test Dell Mini 10v netbook.
Google intends to release Chrome OS next year as a lightweight operating system for netbooks. While they have not revealed their marketing strategy, they let everyone know they will be working with hardware partners from the netbook world. A Google spokesman refused to comment on whether or not Dell would be one of those hardware partners, but because Chrome OS is open source, we can expect a whole host of hardware companies to be interested in working with Google on Chrome.
Via Information Week.
The netbook world has been eagerly anticipating the Google Chromium OS since its initial announcement just a few months back, and Dell has already released a beta for those of us too impatient for the real thing. However, the work isn’t over; we could be getting a number of unanticipated but welcome features come the official release.
A recent demo displays the Chromium UI with a user accessing music playback application Lala. Google already uses Lala pop-up windows to play music through Lala in its search engine, and hopes to implement this as an attraction to prospective Chromium netbook buyers.
Lala sells streamable songs for 10 cents each and hosts users’ old music collections in the cloud. This will allow owners to get their music from anywhere with internet access without lugging around gigs of data, something netbook lovers in particular tend to appreciate.
And even if you don’t have internet access, Lala says its upcoming iPhone application will keep the last few hundred songs you’ve listened to on tab so you can play them without the internet. This could be a welcome addition to Chrome as well.
Anyway, here’s the demo:
The Google Chrome operating system isn’t pre-installed on netbooks just yet, but if you’re interested, below are some netbooks that have been “officially” tested and that claim to be compatible with the software. On these netbooks, you can assume that everything works, including 802.11 Wi-Fi, Ethernet, the touchpad, and the suspend/resume functions.
- Acer Aspire One AOD250* – $299.99 at Amazon.com
- Acer Aspire One AOP531h – $269.99 at TigerDirect.com
- ASUS Eee PC 1008HA – $339.95 at Amazon.com
- ASUS Eee PC 900 – $282.25 at Amazon.com
- Gateway LT20* – $259.99 at TigerDirect.com
- Toshiba Satellite A205-S5000 (This is a 15.4″ laptop, but you can get one at netbook pricing for about $350 on eBay.)
The Chrome OS doesn’t yet provide anything that the Chrome web browser doesn’t, but we thought we’d share the procedure for downloading it onto your Dell Inspiron Mini 10v netbook anyway. First, grab yourself a USB drive that’s 8 GB or greater. (The actual download is roughly 7.5 GB.)
Essentially, the installation involves copying the Google Chrome OS image file onto your netbook. You’ll also need access to a computer that’s running Linux in order to turn the downloaded IMG file to a bootable file.
Technically, a Dell employee (nicknamed Doug A) came up with this entire process as he was testing out compiling a copy of the Google Chrome OS for himself after seeing it run on various netbooks last week. Doug A explains:
“To copy onto an USB key (8GB minimum), find another Linux machine and utilize the “dd” command to put the image onto the USB key. Example: dd if=ChromiumOS_Mini10v_Nov25.img of=/dev/sdb. In this example, /dev/sdb is my entire USB key… use “fdisk -l” to see how your USB key is named for your particular environment. Be careful to select your USB device (again, use fdisk -l to double verify and confirm the correct device filename) and not another device…”
Google wants everyone to use their browser and what better way to do that than to provide low-cost bare-bones smartbook or netbook technology pre-installed with the Chrome OS? The company may look into advertising to cover the losses they may have to take for providing these rumored smartbooks and netbooks, but they also just acquired Teracent, a company that specializes in personalized display advertising.
The Chrome OS is free and most data is stored in the cloud anyway, so this situation would be quite feasible for Google. $20 per unit may seem a bit low, but you never know what’ll happen. Think Google will give out free smartbooks and netbooks? It could happen.
Google says Chrome’s coming in 2010, and while some analysts correctly predicted that the project would be open sourced within days last week, the IDC is now saying that Google Chrome won’t see serious enterprise adoption for 10 years.
Analyst Al Hilwa of the IDC backed up this position by saying that, while updating on the cloud might be fantastic for Chrome OS netbook users, enterprises won’t easily get on board with the concept:
“[Cloud-based updates] are not going to eliminate problems. You’ll still have occasionally an update that comes in and it will screw up something. Enterprises don’t want to see that kind of thing. I think they’re making some bets on this and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Furthermore, the fact that Chrome OS and the Chrome browser only run Web apps without access to downloadable local apps could be a turn-off even for netbook users:
“You wonder if netbook users are going to be okay with that, and if they will want to store everything in the cloud. Before it’s all over, there’s going to be some offline applications and then there will be some offline usage of data. They’re going to have Flash memory and people will store data locally. There’s almost no way around that.”
Based on that reason, Hilwa’s perspective is that Chrome OS will be a consumer phenomenon for five years, but it’ll be 10 years before Chrome OS can get 5% of the enterprise computing market in on the fun.
The community has long been waiting for Google Chrome OS-Based netbooks to arrive. It’s possible that they will be a reality in the very near future.
The Chinese netbook industry has always been at the forefront of technological innovation and this time, things are no different. Rumor on the street is that Chinese netbook manufacturers may be releasing netbooks equipped with the Google Chrome OS.
Currently, plans are for Google to release the full version of the Chrome OS next year, but they also plan to introduce a preview version of the software beforehand. Some sources in China have rumored that notebook manufacturers will start to introduce netbooks with Chrome starting as early as next month.
Nothing’s solidified yet, but we’ll make sure to keep you posted on any further progress.