Chances are, one of the countless Google geeks who applied before I managed to come up for air tonight will get the notebook that should be mine, but I went ahead and applied anyway. I say Google geek in the nicest possible way, of course. I live, eat, and breathe Google, with snacks of Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft thrown in for good measure.
As Rachel King pointed out, you too can apply to be part of the Chrome OS notebook pilot by clicking here. The idea is to convince Google why you and/or your company would be a good fit for the pilot.
You can optionally point to a YouTube video explaining why you'd be the best choice to participate in the pilot; I just couldn't muster up the creativity tonight after a brutal day; besides, I finally got my daughter to sleep. No notebook, no matter how revolutionary, was worth making any noise in my office below her bedroom and possibly waking a child who actually sleeps less than I do.
That being said, there were a couple of interesting pieces to the application that stood out. The first was that applicants are asked how many notebooks they wanted if they were selected to participate. This is called an enterprise play, folks. Roll out Google Apps for your company and see how much you can save on hardware running exclusively in the cloud with Chrome OS.
For a whole lot of companies, this really could be a game changer, especially since the Chrome OS notebooks don't appear to be standard netbook spec. Instead, we're looking at full-sized keyboards and decent-sized (yet highly portable) screens.
The second highlight from the application was the opening caveat:
Chrome OS is for people who live on the web. It runs web-based applications, not legacy PC software.
The Pilot program is not for the faint of heart. Things might not always work just right.
The Pilot program is open to individuals, businesses, schools, non-profits and developers based in the United States.
My first thought? This is how 1:1 student computing is going to look for schools that don't decide to go the tablet route. Combined with Google Apps for Education (a free version of Google Apps for educational institutions), the notebooks stand to be priced and featured in ways that scream for schools to adopt this as a platform.
My second thought? This is essentially a mobile thin client. Done right.
Hopefully, Google will see fit to grace this education and Google blogger with a Chrome notebook or two. I'm not holding my breath. However, the minute I can get my hands on one, even if I have to buy a production model mid next year, I'll be writing about it. I can't help but feel just a little bit excited over what amounts to not only a paradigm shift but a hardware extension of the Google Apps in which I spend most of my time.