Oct 10 2010

Hot Google Netbook Demand Opens New Possibilities

According to the google keyword tool there are approximately 33,100 searches per month for the term “Google Netbook.” Although there is no clear indication that Google will release it’s own Google netbook computer the company has spoken with netbook manufacturers about producing netbooks with the Chrome OS operating system. This begs the question though, with the current demand for Google netbooks will Google consider producing a netbook like it has cell phones?

Although it is unclear whether those searching for “google netbook” are simply looking for a netbook with google chrome OS pre-installed or a netbook produced by Google, there is clearly a demand for Google products in the netbook marketplace. Google did announce earlier this year that they do plan on releasing Chrome OS in the 4th quarter.

As the leading manufacturer of netbooks, Acer also receives 33,100 monthly searches for the term “Acer netbook.” If the leader in the market is receiving the same searches, the demand cannot be ignored. Only the future will tell if Google will one day produce its own netbooks.

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Jun 27 2010

Competion between Google Chrome OS and Microsoft Windows Heats Up

Google and Dell are in communication about Google Chrome OS and the future it plays in computing and possible installation of Google Chrome OS on a Dell netbook. Dell realizes that Chrome OS could very well offer stiff competition to Microsoft Windows and working with Google could benefit them in the next couple years as changes come to the industry.

There has been no official announcement from Dell or Google about a deal but “talks” are underway. If an agreement is reached Dell would be the third manufacturer to build a future netbook with Chrome OS. The other computer manufacturers that plan on releasing netbooks or other computers with Chrome OS are Acer and HP.

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Jun 1 2010

Google Tries to Phase out Windows

According to sources within Google, the search giant is currently trying to phase out the Microsoft Windows operating system on company computers in order to reduce security problems. Google and Microsoft have been rivals for some time now and the two companies have become increasingly hostile in recent months.

Google experienced attacks in China that resulted from a flaw in Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer. Coupled with the fact that Google has a web browser (Chrome) and is planning an operating system (Chrome OS), the move makes sense. Why should Google give Microsoft, a competitor, any more money by buying a competing operating system?

Some security analysts have said the move is not as logical as it seems. According to them, although Windows is often the target of hackers, because of this it has excellent security features that are allegedly not found in other operating systems, such as Mac OS X. By switching, Google will actually open itself up to more attacks.

I know there are not many attempted attacks on Mac OS X because not nearly as many people use it as Windows and I hope Google’s move does not increase the number of attacks on Mac. Maybe it’s time to start learning Linux…

Via PC World, image via Google.

May 31 2010

Russian Search Engine Challenges Google

Google is the premier search engine today, the search engine that other competing search engine companies dream of dethroning. So far, that has not happened yet, but Google is facing a formidable competitor: a Russian search engine called Yandex.

Though many Americans may not have heard of Yandex, it is extremely popular in Russia. Founded in 1997, it is the search engine of choice for many Russians and is actually quite good—for searching the Runet (Russian Internet), it rivals Google.ru, the Russian version of Google. Yandex launched its international, English-language version on May 19 at Yandex.com.

The international version of Yandex is also very good. It may even rival Google: its results are relevant and accurate. It is certainly better than Microsoft’s Bing (which, in all honesty, I have not found to be all that bad). Google originally took off because it had the best results of any search engine, but over the years it has deteriorated. Could Yandex be the next big thing? Only time will tell.

Via the Belfast Telegraph, image via Yandex.

May 28 2010

Motorola May Introduce Android Tablet

Motorola may be in the process of designing a tablet that will run Google’s Android operating system, says a company executive. The executive was answering questions at a conference when the subject came up. He also revealed that Motorola is focusing heavily on Android. The potential device, according to the executive, would be about 7 to 10 inches and would be intended to supplement a user’s TV experience.

This rumor has come about at the same time as another rumor concerning Android devices made by Motorola. Motorola is allegedly working on two new high-end Droid phones that will be released sometime in July with Verizon as their carrier. There has been speculation that one of the phones has already been seen by the public in the form of a prototype found in a gym earlier this week.

Either way, this summer looks to be very interesting in terms of Android devices.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 27 2010

Marvell To Create $100 Tablet

Marvell Technologies has announced today that it will partner with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create a $100 tablet, named the XO-3. The foundation achieved great success with the XO-1 laptop computer for children in developing countries.

More details about the XO-3 have emerged. It will have a power rating of 1 watt per hour, a multilingual, multitouch screen keyboard, WiFi, high quality video, and Flash 10 Internet. It will be based on an ARM processor, most likely the Marvell Armada 610, and run Google’s Android OS.

According to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte, the XO-3 will eventually have an adaptable screen to allow for viewing in either sunlight or inside. The tablet will allegedly be 10.8 millimeters thick, which rivals the iPad.

The tablet is planned to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011.

Via CNET, image via OLPC.

May 25 2010

Google Enthusiasts Must Wait Longer for Chrome

Google has brought us a variety of wonders and many of their innovations synergize perfectly together to create an altogether smooth experience. One thing people are anticipating greatly is the release of Google’s Chrome OS. The Chrome OS will be intended only for netbooks, as it is a simple browser-based operating system that doesn’t demand much processing power.  Companies such as Acer are working with Google to release netbooks with the OS as soon as possible, and it is rumored that they could be releasing one as soon as June. This rumor however was denied by Acer.

Google has a lot on their plate, as Android’s success is gaining momentum. Google will need to keep its focused balanced in order for both Chrome and Android to do their best. The key for Chrome will be the apps that it will have available for the users, thus Google is focusing on having an app store up and running.

It also must be noted that Computex is just around the bend and unfortunately one thing spectators should not expect to see is the Chrome OS.  It is likely then that consumers will just have to wait until the fall to see the Chrome OS.

Via Wired

May 25 2010

Google Buys AdMob, Threatens Apple

Apple has been trying to break into mobile advertising recently and it seemed as if it would succeed in this endeavor due to iAd, a mobile ad service the company launched last month. However, Google is not going to give up its primacy in online advertising without a fight, as evidenced by a recent acquisition, AdMob Inc. With the purchase of this company, which was just recently cleared by regulators, Google will become the largest mobile advertising company.

Google’s acquisition of AdMob could make Android more attractive to advertisers who want to reach a large audience. This in turn could facilitate Android’s growth and even allow Android to surpass Apple by 2013. Though Apple is still a lot more widespread than Android, Android is increasing at a much faster rate and this incredible increase will allow it to pass Apple in the near future.

Both Apple and Google have declined to comment about the situation.

Via Business Week, image via AdMob.

May 24 2010

Google To Steal Apple’s ‘Cult’ Status?

At Google’s developer event last week, something strange happened: the high energy present made it more like an Apple event than a Google event. Could Google be ascending in popularity and eventually achieve the cult status that Apple has held for so long?

Many people are showing support for Android, and some have suggested that this means Apple is now trying to catch up to Google. At the event, Google introduced Froyo, the updated version of Android, which got people talking. Apple needs to do something new and exciting at WWDC or it will be left behind.

The funny thing is, in this whole Apple vs. Google battle, Microsoft is left out. Apple is cool, Google is on the way to becoming cool, and Microsoft is so uncool that it’s forgotten. But if Google wants to continue being in the ascendant, it needs to deal with some major issues, such as how Android and Chrome OS will work together.

Via CNET, image via Google.

May 23 2010

AT&T Raises Termination Fee

AT&T has announced that it is raising its early termination fee (ETF) for smartphones from $175 to $325 starting June 1. Customers who were considering breaking their contracts with AT&T have just one week to decide before leaving AT&T early gets way more expensive.

The hike in this fee has fueled rumors concerning the iPhone’s AT&T exclusivity. Though AT&T insists that the price increase is unrelated, one cannot help but wonder: is Verizon perhaps going to be carrying the iPhone in the near future?

Those who choose to leave AT&T now face an uncertain future because there really is no guarantee that Apple and AT&T are going to let other carriers, such as Verizon, provide service for the iPhone. Even if Verizon does begin to offer iPhone service, it will not be until late June or early July, which means customers hoping to switch would have to go about a month without a phone, which is almost unthinkable in our society. If Verizon does not end up carrying the iPhone, customers will be forced to choose other Verizon phones—luckily, the company does have some great choices out there (my personal favorite right now is the HTC Incredible).

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 20 2010

Google Launches TV Service

Google launched a new service today called Google TV in an attempt to expand beyond its usual area of business. At the launch, Google took a few jabs at Apple for not supporting Adobe Flash, saying, “It turns out on the Internet people use Flash.” The Google TV will use the next version of Flash.

But Google is not putting all its eggs in one basket: at its developer conference, it hosted a session for HTML5, the competitor to Flash that Apple’s Steve Jobs has embraced. Google has said it sees Adobe Flash and HTML5 coexisting (I personally do not agree with Google on this point).

Some have accused Google of being duplicitous, but I think that is an unfair accusation. Google is just trying to keep all its options open, which it ought to do, especially after the failure of its smartphone, Nexus One.

Via MarketWatch.

May 19 2010

Google’s Android Beats Microsoft, Challenges Apple

Google’s Android operating system was the fourth most popular during the first quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. Android was in ten percent of smartphones sold, which put it behind Nokia’s Symbian, Research in Motion, and Apple. Gartner said that Android will beat Apple as soon as there are more handset makers using it.

Even though Apple’s App Store boasts over 200,000 apps to Google’s 38,000, Android’s openness has made it become more popular with developers. Many developers are choosing to write apps for Android, not Apple. Developers typically choose a limited number of mobile platforms to write software for.

Microsoft’s mobile OS has become less and less popular on smartphones. Microsoft is trying to compete with the iPhone by having high standards for handsets that use its software. But more and more handset makers are turning to Android, which is free—Microsoft charges a licensing fee to those using its software (it is the only major company to do so).

Via Reuters, image via Reuters.

May 14 2010

First Chrome OS Device to be an Acer Netbook

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.

Via VentureBeat and CoolTechZone.

May 13 2010

First Chrome OS Device to be Released

The first device running Chrome OS, the open source operating system by Google, is supposed to be introduced by Acer in two weeks, according to multiple sources.

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.

May 13 2010

Sprint Announces 4G Phone

On Wednesday, Sprint announced its highly anticipated 4G phone, the HTC Evo 4G. It will be available June 4 starting at $199.99 with a two-year contract after a mail-in rebate (unless you pre-order it at Best Buy or Radio Shack, in which case you will not have to deal with the rebate).

The phone will require an Everything Data Plan, which costs $69.99 per month, plus $10 extra for WiMax, even if you do not live in a 4G coverage area. There is no data cap associated with the plan. The phone will also be able to act as a mobile WiFi hotspot for an extra $29.99 per month.

The Evo 4G will ship with a YouTube HQ player and a video chat app that can be used with the 8 megapixel front-facing camera. It boasts a 4.3-inch touchscreen and runs Android 2.1.

Via CNET, image via CNET.

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May 12 2010

Microsoft and Google Feud Over Office

Microsoft has apparently taken offense to Google’s recent suggestion that users not upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010. Google’s logic was that Google Docs makes Office 2003 and 2007 better because users can share documents in their original formats in a cloud. Google is also planning to add real-time collaboration in a few months.

Microsoft has said that Office 2003 and 2007 cannot work properly together because Google Docs converts documents to different formats, which strips out certain page elements. Microsoft Office 2010 allegedly makes documents appear almost identically when they are viewed through a web browser.

Using Google Docs is certainly a cheaper option for businesses: $50 per year vs. $499 plus other costs for the professional version of Office. Though Microsoft Office is a trusted product for businesses, Google Docs would save companies a huge amount of money, which is always a concern for companies.

Via CRN.

May 12 2010

Verizon and Google Team Up For Tablet

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced recently that his company and Google are going to work together to develop a tablet to compete with the iPad. McAdam did not mention very many details, so the tech blogosphere is bursting with questions.

The first question is why Google has not mentioned its involvement in the tablet. Verizon has spoken openly about it, but Google has not made a single public comment concerning the new device. Google’s silence has led some analysts to believe that Verizon has completely invented the tablet in order to get a better deal with Apple for the iPhone and iPad.

The next question is who would make the Verizon-Google tablet. It’s supposed to run Android OS, which would suggest either HTC or Motorola making it, as these two companies are the most prominent on Verizon’s network to use Android. Furthermore, how much would Verizon influence the tablet? Would it be locked into the Verizon App Store or would is be able to use Android’s marketplace? All these questions will hopefully answered later this week.

Via PC World, image via PC World.

May 5 2010

Google Plans to Sell E-Books

Apple and Amazon had better watch out. Google announced this morning that it intends to start selling e-books in late June or July of this year, which would put it in direct competition with both Apple and Amazon.

Of course, Google is not new to the idea of competing with Apple. The search engine giant has increasingly infringed on areas that typically were the domain of Apple. Apple has responded by doing the same to Google.

Google’s e-books will be available for a variety of devices and from a number of different websites. Users will have the ability to buy electronic versions of books they find through Google Books, Google’s book search service. Book retailers will be allowed to sell Google’s versions on their websites.

Apple itself is actually a relatively recent entrant to the e-book market—it entered the market on April 3, with the release of the iPad. There have also been rumors that Google is planning to release a tablet that will compete with the iPad.

Via AppleInsider, image via Google.

May 4 2010

Internet Explorer Usage Drops

This news makes me extremely happy because I absolutely cannot stand Internet Explorer. I hope that people are realizing that there are so many great alternative browsers out there to use. According to statistics published by Net Applications, Internet Explorer use is down to about 60 percent, which is quite a change from the 80 percent it had two and a half years ago. Firefox has nearly 25 percent of the usage, Chrome has 6.7 percent, and Opera 2.3 percent.

Alternative browsers use different rendering engines from Internet Explorer’s Trident and offer a vastly improved performance. Trident does not meet the latest web standards and has very slow rendering speeds compared to Gecko, Presto, and WebKit, the rendering engines of Firefox, Opera, and Chrome/Safari, respectively.

I would highly recommend switching from Internet Explorer if you are still using it. Firefox is a great alternative (it has lots of pretty themes that you can use to customize it), as is Safari (it’s really, really fast). I have heard great things about Chrome, though I have not used it myself. And if you’re a Mac user, Camino is a great choice as well—it’s based on Gecko and integrates really well with the Mac OS. I have tried Opera in the past and I found it a bit difficult to adjust to, but it is also a good alternative to Internet Explorer.

Via AppleInsider.

May 3 2010

Mobile Browser Could Offer Flash Support

Browser maker Skyfire has recently released a mobile browser for Android that has pseudo-Flash support. It gives access to Flash videos by sending the content to cloud servers where the Flash is converted to HTML5 and then streamed back and is able to play on a mobile device.

Skyfire has said that it intends to make an iPhone version of the browser and submit it to the App Store. If the app is accepted, iPhone users will have Flash support for the first time ever. Apple has not allowed Flash support on its mobile devices so far and has said it does not intend to anytime soon.

Android is a lot more open to allowing Flash support, though users will have to wait for a firmware update later this year. Skyfire will help users who do not want to wait. The CEO of Skyfire has said that if Apple accepts his company’s app, then “Apple can get the best of both worlds.”

Via AfterDawn, image via Skyfire.

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