Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

Summary: Despite readying a big push of Android-based tablets with its new update to that OS (the forthcoming version 2.3, a.

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Despite readying a big push of Android-based tablets with its new update to that OS (the forthcoming version 2.3, a.k.a. Gingerbread), Google is also working hard on turning its Chrome browser platform into a full-fledged OS for devices. Engadget has learned that the tech titan is planning to launch a new netbook using the Chrome OS with an event next Tuesday.

Details are pretty scarce at this point, but the portable will be Intel Atom-powered and roll out first to Google "friends and family." It will likely include access to the new Chrome Web Store for apps that the search giant is also expected to introduce at the same event.

Google has taken pains to differentiate between Android and Chrome as operating systems, though you'd be excused if you couldn't discern that great a difference. The company appears to be tracking Chrome toward more traditional computing systems like laptops and possibly desktops. It aims to replace the traditional Windows approach of storing your data and software on a hard drive with one that puts everything in the "cloud" instead.

Oddly, Google is introducing its Chrome OS approach with a category of devices that may be in a sales decline thanks to the tablet onslaught. Perhaps the company is suggesting that with a cloud-based OS, the netbook form factor -- and price tag -- is all you need in a portable computer, as running a browser doesn't require a fast processor, discrete video, and the other accoutrements of a typical laptop. But it better make such a pitch effectively -- and quickly -- or Chrome as a computing platform may be overwhelmed with the great wave of Android tablets expected next year.

Would you buy a netbook running the Chrome OS? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

Topics: Hardware, Google, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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38 comments
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  • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

    I don't see the appeal. A system dumbed down even more than the original Linux-powered netbooks and relying on browser-based apps and storage? Cloud storage as an added extra is good, but as your sole form of accessing apps and storage? You better have a good data plan! The lag due to the 3G internet connection won't go down well either.
    msandersen
    • I see the appeal

      My little sister asked when I was going to giver her my laptop. I asked her what she was going to do with it. Her response? Check her email, get on facebook, and go to youtube. Seriously, that was it.<br><br>A netbook with Chrome OS on it would be more up her alley than a large laptop with a full-fledged OS on it.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Three app limit is hardly a lie!

        @goff256
        wackoae has hardly lied albeit that s/he is slightly incorrect. It is actually a three app limit, with some qualifications. From memory, Vista Starter has a two app limit.

        You can find more here:
        http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/living-with-the-limits-of-windows-7-starter-edition/844

        In real terms, wackoae was quite correct in point-out the limitations of Windows 7 Starter.
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • But what he said -is- a lie

        "On the other hand, you can barely run anything on a netbook with a Win7 "Starter kit" installed. Where you can't even open two (independent) applications at the same time."<br><br>You can't open two independent applications at the same time? I think you guys are wrong. <br><br>Anyway, read the link that is inside your link. If you would like, I can quote part of the blog for you. It seems as though they removed it in 7. Even before that, his statement of not being able to open -2- independent apps would have been wrong.<br><br>"For the first time, we will be making Windows 7 Starter available worldwide on small notebook PCs. We are also going to enable Windows 7 Starter customers the ability to run as many applications simultaneously as they would like, instead of being constricted to the 3 application limit that the previous Starter editions included."
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Three app limit is a lie!

        @goff256

        Try reading the first paragraph of the link you provided. A 3-app limit was considered at one time, but the idea was scrapped long before Windows 7 was launched.

        Incompetence or lie. You choose.
        honeymonster
      • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

        Yes my sister is the same. She now has a notebook and never gets off the thing. Google hit a key market with their notebooks. $$$
        sam - <a href="http://saintoftheday.com">saint of the day</a> | <a href="http://smuggecko.com">seo tips</a>
        soskert
    • &quot;dumbed down even more than the original Linux-powered netbooks&quot;?

      @msandersen

      How on earth is a full Linux install "dumbed down"? Underpowered? Maybe. Dumbed down? Hardly.

      If anything is being dumbed down, it is the recent versions of Windows, regardless of what you install them on.
      Economister
      • I was wondering the same

        @Economister You can run a full version of Linux with thousands of pre-installed applications (including games, web browsers and even office utilities) on a netbook. The only limitation is on the hardware.

        On the other hand, you can barely run anything on a netbook with a Win7 "Starter kit" installed. Where you can't even open two (independent) applications at the same time.
        wackoae
      • If you can barely run Win7 on a netbook

        Clearly you're doing something wrong.

        Edit: And nice lie about the 2 app thing.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

        @Economister [b]If anything is being dumbed down, it is the recent versions of Windows, regardless of what you install them on[/b] I'm curious as to what you feel is "dumbed down" about the recent version of windows.
        athynz
      • Dumbed down

        @athynz<br><br>I still run XP, but when I needed to make an extended partition in Vista (or W7 for that matter) it would not let me. Only primary partitions are allowed, apparently. There are other examples, but none come to mind at the moment.
        Economister
    • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

      @msandersen

      To say nothing of the global conspiracy to chew up all our bandwidth with thin clients and streaming solutions. Chrome OS is a solution in search of a problem.
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

      @msandersen Methinks that ChromeOS isn't so much of an excuse to make a cheap netbook, but more of an excuse to clear out all of those leftover netbook 4, 8, and 16 GB flash storage devices.

      First thing most users are going to want to do with these devices is figure out how to install Windows or a real Linux. Then they'll want a real keyboard with actual F-keys and caps lock.
      nix_hed
  • Talk about missing the mark!

    While all the excitement is towards tablets and other post PC devices, Google decides to push on with this Chrome Netbook PC idea. Why? Netbooks were in slow decline before the iPad and have really gotten worst ever since. Can't remember the last time I saw someone with a Netbook. Then Google will try and convince consumers to store everything in the cloud instead of locally? Microsoft must be laughing, again.
    dave95.
    • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

      @dave95. <br><i>"Then Google will try and convince consumers to store everything in the cloud instead of locally? <strong>Microsoft</strong> must be <strong>laughing, again</strong>."</I><br><br>Don't watch tv much eh? "<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGOVmCKMeGQ" target="_blank">Windows 7 to the cloud</a>"? "Yeah cloud"<br><br>For you Apple fanbois who forgot, first they laugh at you, then they became the joke. Remember Iphone and Ipad? <br><br>Don't worry dave95, netbooks will do just fine. Just like the line of Droids.<br><br><a href="http://gigaom.com/apple/netbook-shipments-skyrocket-apple-still-missing-the-boat/" target="_blank">"Netbook Shipments Skyrocket, Apple Still Missing the Boat"</a><br><br><a href="http://www.computex.biz/HeadlineNews_Detail.aspx?list_id=34606" target="_blank">"Acer netbook shipment to embrace 10 million units this year"</a><br>"<strong>It has been rumored that the netbook market will die along with the booming tablet PC market</strong>. However, Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin protested to say that netbook will continue going on."<br><br><br>The jokes on you dude.<br>
      Alan Henry
      • Jokes on Google.

        @Alan Henry <br><br>Not sure what you're looking at but all current reports/studies i've seen show Netbooks are in decline, due to tablets and other devices. If reports show that tablets (mainly the iPad) are cannibalizing netbooks and some notebooks sales today, what do you think will happen come next year. When every manufacturer will have their own tablet offering, many running Google's own Android? <br><br><a href="http://it.tmcnet.com/topics/it/articles/121854-tablets-cannibalizing-both-laptops-netbooks.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://it.tmcnet.com/topics/it/articles/121854-tablets-cannibalizing-both-laptops-netbooks.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/survey-tablets-hurting-netbook-sales-demand-falls-10-percent/67315" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.cultofmac.com/survey-tablets-hurting-netbook-sales-demand-falls-10-percent/67315</a><br><br>Google's own "evaluation" finds a 1,328 percent increase in searches related to "tablets" between July 2009 and July 2010, while searches on "netbooks" declined by 50 percent over that same period.<br><br>And you offering a link of some blog-post written back in Feb (before iPad released), and a self serving quote from Acer president is not really convincing.

        Oh and Google will surely be pushing full cloud, nothing locally like what MS is offering with their cloud push. The public is just not ready for that.
        dave95.
      • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

        @dave95<br><br>If the report was on antenna-gate would you have ignored it? Probably so. We all have self serving biases.

        1. Ipad has NO keyboard
        2. Ipad has NO USB
        3. It's junk being push by the media
        Alan Henry
      • Alan Henry .... do you have a brain??

        ... or are you simply stupid?

        #1- Only idiots think that the iPad has no keyboard.
        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=iPad+keyboard&x=0&y=0

        #2 Only MORONS don't know that the iPad has optional USB adapters
        http://www.amazon.com/Camera-Connection-Kit-Apple-iPad/dp/B004670HCO/ref=sr_1_12?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1291486903&sr=1-12

        #3 The media are not the ones buying the device by the truck load and making it the top selling product of this x-mas season.
        wackoae
      • RE: Google to announce Chrome-flavored netbook next week

        @wackoae <br><i>"... or are you simply stupid?"</i><br><br>1. I'll be stupid <i>if</i> I bought a product that needed after-market parts to make it work. As I said, No keyboard and No USB. You think I'm stupid?<br>2. I have a brain, that's why I don't buy unfinished products.<br><br><i>"...top selling product of this x-mas season"</i><br>Only in a Apple fanboi's eyes. Wrong, the <a href="http://www.gearlog.com/2010/11/kinect_for_xbox_360_outselling.php" target="_blank">kinect got it beat</a> by a long shot.
        Alan Henry
      • Atenna-gate? Seriously.. Yawn. How did those reports

        @Alan Henry
        effect iPhone returns? One does remember that Apple gave people a period of time where they could return their iPhones if they were dissatisfied remember. The return rate was less than the iPhone 3GS as I remember. How about effecting sales? Apple can't make enough of the iPhone 4 as it stands. Oh well nice try.

        It does have a keyboard just a virtual one. USB port? Why not complain about the none replaceable battery while your at it? I mean that so called "issue" has been screamed about since the original iPhone and well sales since have been excellent as are the iPads. Just saying...

        Yeah all those customer satisfaction reviews and polls mean nothing it is obviously junk because well YOU say so and we all know that what makes you happy is the base line for what everyone else should think/feel about a given product now don't we. Oh wait a minute you are but one opinion out of many and in this case while the iPad's value is a matter of opinion that I will grant you still in this case or I should say every case where you are not the purchaser but others are your opinion does not matter. Oh I get it... Do you?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn