Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

Summary: Things have been so quiet on the Chrome OS front that I had nearly forgotten Google promised netbooks in time for the holidays. If reports out of Taiwan are accurate, the first models should arrive later this month.

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Things have been so quiet on the Chrome OS front that I had nearly forgotten Google promised netbooks in time for the holidays. If reports out of Taiwan are accurate, the first models should arrive later this month.

Using the same strategy Google employed to jump-start Android with the Nexus One, the company will ship a Google-branded netbook, using an ARM-based processor and Chrome OS, later this month, DigiTimes reported. In December, Acer and HP will follow with their own Chrome OS netbooks.

These Chrome OS netbooks will hit the market just as the growth in this category is slowing, perhaps due to the Apple iPad and upcoming tablets running Android and Windows 7. But the way that Google initially described these netbooks-instant-on, always connected and with long battery life-is actually closer in concept to the iPad and MacBook Air. Perhaps that is why the DigiTimes report refers to them as smartbooks rather than netbooks.

The big difference, of course, is that Google's netbook is designed to run all software as a service through the Chrome browser, which has been coming on strong. That should appeal to heavy users of Google services such as Gmail and Google Calendar, but it will also make it difficult to deliver the app store experience that users have become accustomed to on mobile devices. Chrome OS netbooks could end up caught between Windows 7 netbooks, which can easily run full applications such as Microsoft Office 2010 and work like regular PCs, and tablets, which have a greater variety of apps and work like smartphones.

Here's some earlier coverage of Google's Chrome OS:

Topics: Browser, Google, Hardware, Mobility

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24 comments
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  • ***News Flash***

    [i]"These Chrome OS netbooks will hit the market just as the growth in this category is slowing, perhaps due to the Apple iPad and upcoming tablets running Android and Windows 7."[/i]

    FYI, Netbooks are outselling iPad by 4:1.

    http://www.reghardware.com/2010/10/14/netbook_shipments_vs_tablets/
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • I am hoping that they have a model with 11.6 inch screen. Would be great to

      have an Arm based netbook!!
      DonnieBoy
    • Also, will they use chips designed by Agnilux?? All has been very quiet on

      that front for a while.
      DonnieBoy
    • RE: Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
      Yes but the price of iPad=2 to 3 netbooks !
      LionSaba
  • Too little, too late

    If just the iPad is doing so well, imagine the fate of netbooks once Windows and Android tablets hit the market in stride?

    I imagine that netbooks were the only place a retailer would want to put a too late to the game OS on.
    John Zern
    • RE: Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

      @John Zern

      This is typical Google behavior, always late to the game. They wanted to see what others were doing first.
      Loverock Davidson
      • Damn

        @Loverock Davidson

        I just about choked on my breakfast over that one. From the most unintelligent MS fanboy on the planet: Google is "always late to the game".

        Hello, is anybody home?
        Economister
      • HAH. Good one!

        @Loverock Davidson
        You need a serious reality check.
        ZackCDLVI
    • Well, in some ways, a netbook is just a tablet with an attached keyboard.

      I think there will be room for both in the market.

      But Microsoft has been trying to shoehorn Windows onto tablets for years, I do not imagine they will have much luck this time around either.
      DonnieBoy
      • Erm...

        @DonnieBoy <br>"netbook is just a tablet with an attached keyboard."<br>Considering laptops (what a netbook is) have been out longer then tablets in the consumers world, shouldn't that be the other way around?
        ZackCDLVI
  • Many valid points but.....

    I do not agree with your statement that

    "Chrome OS netbooks could end up caught between Windows 7 netbooks, which can easily run full applications such as Microsoft Office 2010 and work like regular PCs, and tablets, which have a greater variety of apps and work like smartphones."

    I think that is a little bit of an apples and oranges comparison. Anything running Windows on X86 is a different animal from anything running Linux and ARM type environments, including iOS on ARM. I believe there will be a big market for a "tablet with a physical touch type keyboard" in other words a smart book; a third highly portable device in the tablet/smart phone family. Whether this device will be a Chrome device or Android device remains to be seen. There may be a market for both. If it is an Android device (or iOS), it will have access to application stores also.

    IMHO, this is another thing that may freak MS out. Once people are comfortable with Android or iOS on smart phones and tablets, they will at times want a device with a full and proper keyboard. The step into smart books of all sizes will then begin to happen, even 11", 12" and bigger ones, as the ARM based HW gets more and more powerful.

    This is what may "kill" Windows and X86 for most casual users and if I were Ballmer, it would keep me awake at night.
    Economister
    • Actually, I'm guessing you're the one lying awake at nights

      Economister. Are you related to DonnieBoy in any way? ;)
      John Zern
      • Nope...

        @John Zern

        I just try to keep an objective and open mind - something in short supply around here at times.
        Economister
      • Have you not seen how Microsoft is doing in the Mobile market? Do you think

        that WP7 will suddenly solve all of that. What should be painfully obvious to MS, given the success of iPad, is that large numbers will buy mobile devices that do NOT have Win32. THAT will keep Balmer awake at night.
        DonnieBoy
    • Very good points. A casual user that just wants email and browser for use

      at Starbucks, or on a trip, Would love a low maintenance computer that just works, with the Google brand.
      DonnieBoy
  • RE: Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

    I'd stay very far away from any Google netbook. I can't imagine the spyware that its going to have in it. You are better off just calling them directly and giving them all your private info.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Well, in that case I think you should .....

      @Loverock Davidson

      just go ahead and do that.
      Economister
    • RE: Report: Google Chrome netbook coming soon

      @Loverock Davidson <br>Yes, because Google makes some nasty spyware. That google toolbar is a system killer! Quick, everyone run away in fear!!
      Did you get a infection of spyware and thought it was Google's fault?? Bwhahahaha.
      cybr2th@...
  • Guys, from the iPad, we have seen that consumer WILL buy non-Win32 devices

    in very large numbers. If Google can hit the price points necessary, this could be a big success.
    DonnieBoy
  • google going crazy ..

    Google Really Needs A real Competitor to its Search Engine, its Commodity Zone, to make her Focus on its things instead of ruining other's Markets like Apple, Rim, MS...
    i think Steve will regret the days of apple vs MS... now Google seems more copy cat like the chinese bad copy manufacturers and by the way that's why its been banned from chine maybe for its talent surpassing the chinese professional copycats lol..
    well take a look at this :
    Apple created iphone ---> Google made its Droid
    Apple store for iphone---> google market for droid
    apple Tv ---> google tV
    Apple iPad ---> google droid tablet..
    and lately Apple Macbook air > Google chrome netbook..
    Linux is a Powerful OS for Tech savys geeks and on servers ... but for the enduser it will continue its 30 year failure...
    LionSaba