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?
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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.
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We’ve been eagerly awaiting Google’s netbook for a while now, and for neither the first time nor likely the last, rumors have surfaced about what specs we should expect to see in the thing.
The Google netbook will run the Google Chrome OS on a 10.1-inch screen that will be HD-capable and powered by the Nvidia Tegra.
The system will also include an ARM CPU and 64 GB SSD – small, but lightning-quick. It should have 2 GB of RAM, Bluetooth, 3G suport, a webcam, 3.5mm audio jack, multi-card reader, and a few USB ports.
The Google Chromium OS will be a fascinating experiment when it comes out next year. It suffers from a constant need for a connection to the internet, but with Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Docs, Calendar, and Wave, it will feature an integrated and lively interface, streamlined for mobile use. A $300 price tag could be in the works as well.
All these details are moot until the Google netbook hits stores, but if the pieces come together as projected the Google netbook will be a fine thing to get one’s hands on.
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.)
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’s fabled OS has been released for open sourcing as the Chromium OS. By Google’s own admission, it’s “intended for people who spend most of their time on the web”, which seems like a long way to say ‘netbook users‘.
Enjoy some videos about the Chromium OS below.
At this morning’s announcement event, Google demoed the OS on a netbook. According to the speaker, the netbook goes from cold to usable in under 10 seconds, a number Google is working “very, very hard” to decrease.
Here’s the demo:
Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet is proposing an interesting idea about what’s going to happen once Google releases its Chrome OS, and it’s different than what most people are predicting. She thinks Chrome won’t look so great once it takes the stage in late 2010.
Why? Firstly, the Google Chrome OS is optimized to run on netbooks as an “extension to Chrome,” the browser by Google. It’s meant to fully integrate Web apps with the desktop, improving the user experience.
However, Microsoft has its own extension to web browsers, one that attacks IE, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome in one fell swoop – Microsoft Silverlight. Silverlight 4 is coming out in mid-2012, and adds support for data binding, enterprise networking, and printing. All of this is meant to appeal to not only bread and butter consumers but enterprise app users as well.
Furthermore, Foley says sources told her Silverlight is going to merge with the Windows Presentation Foundation programming model:
“Now that the two share the same compiled assemblies, tools and the like, that idea isn’t really so far-fetched. Until that happens, Microsoft plans to continue to offer both WPF and Silverlight, steering developers of more complex, resource-intensive applications toward WPF and Web-centric app developers toward Silverlight.”
On the other hand, Google execs have made no comment about whether Silverlight will be able to work on the Chrome OS, prompting Foley to imagine that Google sees Silverlight as “more foe than friend of the Chrome OS.”
So, what’s the point of all this? Foley believes that, despite the fact that Silverlight isn’t an OS, the Google Chrome operating system is starting to look a lot like a glorified browser. While Silverlight can run on PCs and phones in the near future, Google Chrome is “a dedicated Linux-based netbook OS that will only work with certain predesignated peripherals.”
Chrome OS may end up being more of a Silverlight competitor than a Windows one, if what Foley says is true, which should certainly dampen some predictions of its raging success.
While it was first rumored that Chinese netbook manufacturers would be getting their hands on the Google Chrome OS first, an early version of the operating system could be available as early as next week.
Google has stated that Chrome will initially seek to enter the netbook OS market, and that the full Chrome OS will be available for consumers by the second half of 2010. A beta as soon as next week would come completely out of left field, considering that Google likely has its hands full trying to get Google Wave out of beta. But who’s complaining?
The Chrome OS is an open source project being put together by Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, HP, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. It’s expected to slim down boot speeds as well as other important metrics, based on Google’s explanation for the project:
“We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear—computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers toboot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them.”
If Chrome can deliver on those fronts, you can count me in, but I won’t be keeping my hopes up – I’ve had my heart broken before.
Google currently has about 100,000 beta testers busy working out the kinks of its newest technology: Google Wave. The new communication venture may have a serious effect on the netbook world, especially considering the upcoming release of the Google Chrome OS.
Google describes Wave as “an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.”
It’s kind of hard to imagine just what that would look like, so here’s a demonstration of the concept:
Google Wave is meant to be a lot better than email – you can integrate text, videos, maps, and pretty much anything else into your Wave. It can be accessed by multiple users at once or used for private dialogue.
Indeed, considering recent advancements in 3G, the idea of a wireless, cloud-based communication platform through Google is indeed tempting for the netbook world.
If you’re curious for more, check out Google’s site for Wave. Beta testing is closed for now but another round is expected soon.
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.
Shanzai.com, citing “trusted industry insider sources,” claims that we’re going to see the Google Chrome OS some time this October. This claim comes despite the fact that Google is projecting release mid-2010.
The idea of an October release is certainly appealing, especially considering that that’s when Windows 7 will be released as well. I’ll admit, an OS war would be a lot of fun, but I can’t quite get myself to drink the Kool-Aid on this one.
We’ll see who’s right by Halloween, anyhow. Expect updates as the rumor mill churns on.
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In a battle to loosen Microsoft’s dominating grip in the market for web browsers, Google is teaming up with Sony to promote its own web browser. In the future, the Chrome web browser will be pre-installed on some Sony notebooks.
Not only is Google trying to loosen Microsoft’s grip on the world of web browsers, but also on operating systems as well. Common knowledge is that Google has been working on the Chrome OS, which will be targeted towards lower-end computers.
As of July 2009, Google’s share of the global web browser market was a mere 2.6% (whereas Microsoft’s IE had a 67.7% market share). Sony’s share of the notebook market is relatively small too, but hey, Google’s gotta start somewhere.
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Phoenix Technologies announced yesterday its intention to launch a Linux-based Hyperspace environment that will incorporate elements of the Moblin platform. The goal is to implement faster quick-boot in netbooks, but the move is being seen as a response to Google’s announcement of the upcoming Chrome OS.
Hyperspace is usable by netbooks and can by shipped alongside Windows. It’s an instant-on Linux environment with a simple interface, meant to give access to several apps, a browser, and an office suite without needing to enact the slow-booting elements of an operating system.
By cutting boot times, Linux distributions could be trying to find ways to stay competitive. Linux hasn’t been much of a contender in the netbook market recently, and with Google’s recent announcement that space is about to get much more competitive.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, Google’s no-cost policy might be a more attractive prospect than useful but expensive HyperSpace technology.
While two of netbooks’ main selling points are ultimate portability and accessibility, a woeful minority of netbooks actually get 3G internet. As I argued a few weeks ago on ASK NBB, 3G is often the crucial step that changes a cheap, small, laptop into a full fledged netbook.
As technology improves, netbooks could throw off the shackles of the pre-3G era sooner than we think. But what will that mean for the industry?
According to iSuppli, 3G netbook sales will hit 17.8 million units this year, up from 443,000 in 2007, That number could be even higher by 2012 – a staggering 36.2 million. Alternatives to Windows XP are increasingly appearing in the form of Linux and Google operating systems, but Windows still owns the market. Matt Wilkins of iSuppli explained why:
“The small penetration of Linux in netbooks is not due to any technical shortcomings… Rather, the OS has suffered from the fact that there is not one Linux brand name that is capable of taking on the strength of the Microsoft trademark in the PC market. Because the vast majority of people who buy netbooks are consumers, who do not have a high degree of knowledge of the key players in the OS market, they are going with the names that they know. And in PCs, that name is Microsoft.”
Google’s recently-announced Chrome OS will be a viable choice for many consumers, but only if it positions itself to be available to them. Wilkins went on to explain that “Google must counter the high visibility of the Microsoft brand name on countless products in retail outlets, ranging from software, to PCs, to peripherals.”
Google has interest in making 3G available, given the variety of cloud applications it has to offer the consumer. The market’s swift expansion could make netbooks an intensely profitable place, and who better to rake in all the profit than Google?
If Google pushes its Chrome OS into the arms of OEMs, it would love those netbooks to have instant access to Google tools like Maps and Finance. Will it be a major force in speeding up the transition to 3G? If what iSuppli projects is true, the answer is a hearty yes, and I think that’s an idea we can all get behind.
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Not long after announcing the upcoming Google Chrome OS, Google dropped the names of a few vendors and manufacturers that would partner with Google to distribute the new operating system.
Chip makers like Freescale, Texas Instruments, and Qualcomm were also mentioned. It’s an exciting time for netbooks, and if Google’s web-based approach to computing goes far with consumers the result could be a sizeable shift in market structure.Via CRN.
Soon Android won’t be the only Google operating system competing with Ubuntu and Windows XP for the attention of netbook consumers. Coming mid-2010, the Google Chrome OS – not the be confused with the Chrome browser – will seek to implement the cost and speed of Linux and the usability of Windows.
It’s to be a light weight, Web-based operating system with a focus on an improved security design. Google’s blog entry on Chrome explains what it will truly attempt to accomplish:
“The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the Web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.”
The operating system should also make use of clever new apps to provide a streamlined but capable interface for users. Microsoft might not be quaking in its boots yet, but a few months from now might be a different story.
Image via Wired.