Google has unveiled its upcoming CR-48 Chrome OS laptop. Right now, it is simply an unbranded model that is available for public testing – like all their web products. Branded Chrome OS laptops from companies like Acer and Samsung are expected to be available as late as mid of 2011.
So how do you get into public beta? Well, like it has always been for most of Google’s products – you have to apply to join Google’s public Pilot program. A limited number of beta laptops will be made available through the next few months and the company will get feedback from these individuals and businesses who may get the initial beta release.
The specs of the upcoming laptop looks impressive. It features a 12.1″ screen along with a full-size keyboard, large clickpad and is equipped with a Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip. Besides this, there is also 802.11 dual band Wi-Fi connectivity, web cam and flash storage. The Chrome OS laptop is expected to last 8+ hours of active use an over 8 days of standby.
If you were wondering, the keyboard is the same as what we wrote about a few days back – a dedicated search button along with individual buttons for moving forward and backward while surfing the web.
Google could be taking the wraps off its Chrome OS netbook come tuesday. And apart from the software and back-end hardware that will be the focus of discussion, one another aspect that is already doing the rounds is a slightly refurbished keyboard.
According to reports, the keyboard for the upcoming Google Chrome OS netbook could come with a dedicated button for Google search. This button is expected to replace the CAPS-lock key on the left-hand side of the keyboard. While it is not clear, it is possible that the Caps-lock function could now be invoked by using the Shift+Search combination.
Apart from the search button, another change in the keyboard layout that we have noticed is the forward and backward button on top of the keyboard along with several other control functions. These are located at the position where you normally have the function keys. While it may sound like simply reinventing the wheel, Google could be simplifying internet surfing by offering these controls on the keyboard thus making the process all the more mouse-free.
Earlier this week, we got word from the Google HQ that Chrome OS was behind schedule at the moment and so netbooks running Chrome OS may not be coming this year. However, this does not mean we will not hear anything at all about the new platform.
According to a fresh rumor, Google could be “dog fooding” its new ChromeBook computer to “friends and family” of its employees during the holiday season. Dog fooding is a term used inside Google for public testing of its unreleased products. You may remember that the Nexus One too was rumored to have been released among employees in December last year before the public launch happened in January.
Google is reported to have ordered close to 75,000 such devices and while not too much of specifications related information is available right now, we do hear it will run on Intel Atom Pine Trail processor and is being manufactured by Taiwanese ODM Inventec.
There has not been too much noise about the Chrome OS over the past few months and you can see why. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has revealed that the company is running behind schedule as far as the Chrome OS release is concerned. Consequently, we will not be seeing the release of any Chrome OS tablet or netbooks during the holiday shopping season. In fact, Schmidt has clarified that it will take “few months” before the new platform will make its public appearance.
Chrome OS will be Google’s answer to Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X. The company already has a successful mobile platform in the Android and a successful foray into the desktop computing system may not be too damaging to the market shares of Windows or Mac immediately, but could quite easily kill the other popular open source OS – Linux.
Anyway, with this release getting delayed, we will have to wait for some more time before that could happen.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab has seen a lot of positive reviews in the past few days and is definitely the best Android tablet out in the market as of now. However, it appears that Samsung may provide an option to migrate the tablet from an Android platform to Chrome OS platform when the latter is released. According to a report on the UK Sunday Times, “can be replaced with Chrome, when that arrives, though owners who aren’t tech savvy should have this upgrade carried out by a professional”.
At the outset, it seems pretty unlikely. Unless there is some sort of a common ground between the Android Gingerbread and Chrome OS that will make such a migration possible, there is no reason to believe that Samsung will provide this functionality to users – not in the current edition of the tablet at least. Nevertheless, this is one another rumor we will have to keep tracking unless it is proved one way or the other.
I’m wondering about it too. Google has just filed a trademark application for the term “SpeedBook” and apparently, it’s a “computer hardware”. Now, this could potentially be the name of the Google Chrome OS based tablet PC that is in the works.
While rumors about the device have been doing the rounds for a long while now, we recently heard about a November 26 launch. According to reports, Google is partnering with Verizon in the launch of this new tablet. November 26 – also known as Black Friday – is one of the busiest shopping days in the American calendar and a launch then appears very likely.
Since this is merely a trademark filing, we obviously do not have any other information about this new product. But one thing’s certain for now. The tablet from Google will definitely not be a “pad“.
“We have to have a point of view on the industry and technology direction two years, three years down the road, so we continuously work with Google on this. There are going to be unique innovations coming up in the marketplace in two, three years, with a new form of computing, we want to be on that forefront … So with Chrome or Android or anything like that we want to be one of the leaders”
While Midha did note that there were no announcements to be made at this point, the timing of the launch is speculated to be around the fourth quarter of this year. Google has noted several times earlier that they are in talks with hardware manufacturers to launch Chrome OS based laptops and PCs by “late fall“.
We will let you know if there is any more announcement in this regard.
Apple is well credited for having revolutionized the mobile app market. Thanks to the terrific success of the App Store, we have every other platform owner conceiving an app store for their platform. Now Google Chrome Web Store may well be inspired by the Apple App Store. But the intentions are clearly different – Google wants to dominate the web app marketplace similar to the way Apple dominates the native mobile app space.
Clearly, the web app space is much bigger and with applications being web-driven have a lot more scope too. So in its I/O Conference yesterday, Google announced the Chrome Web Store – This will be a app marketplace that will built right into the Chrome web browser and later in the Chrome OS when it is launched.
Developers may use all of the available web technologies to create their apps (not quite restricting as iPhone apps!) and get paid. Users signed into their Google account may purchase their favorite apps in just one click, presumably via Google Checkout.
As you guessed it, the apps downloaded via the Chrome Web Store are not platform restrictive. They shall surely run in other browsers as well. Only that, while on Chrome, users may be offered a quick-access navigation to their apps – something that other browsers may not offer.
With this, Google may not only reach the user on the computer, but also those on the smartphones since all the apps are accessible via the browser. However, restrictions do apply. If the iPhone does not support Flash, you may not be able to access Flash based web applications.
Launch date is not known though Google has indicated that it shall be “later this year”
Chrome OS, the web focused operating system for netbooks could be making its debut soon according to reports on VentureBeat. The website has heard from sources that Acer could be unveiling Chrome OS based devices during the Computex Taipei show that is to be held between the 1st and 5th of June this year.
It is not entirely clear what kind of devices could be up on display. While Chrome OS is built for netbooks, it can also be used on tablets and smartbooks – devices that run on ARM kind of processor infrastructure.
Also, how closer the device is to launch remains to be seen. TechCrunch points out that while Chrome OS is “coming along quickly“, it is not ready as yet.
Nevertheless, it just makes sense to hold on to another two weeks to hear from Acer about this.
Asustek CEO Jerry Shen has revealed that the upcoming Eee Pad tablet PC from the company will be in two OS versions : One ARM processor powered tablet running either Google Android or Chrome OS and another Intel atom processor powered device running Microsoft 7. While he did not elaborate, the latter is expected to be the touch version of the OS.
The Windows 7 version is expected to show up first during the Comptex event in June of this year. There is no news about the possible launch dates for the Android version as yet.
You may recall that the price of the tablet was announced to be between $479 and $510 last week.