Will Google resurrect the smartbook?

November 3, 2010 by Miranda Marquit weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- The idea of a smartbook has been tantalizing, but first generation attempts have fallen prey to their own immaturity. Now, though, there is a chance that Google could resurrect the smartbook with the Chrome operating system. Later in November, smartbooks running on the Chrome OS are expected to hit the shelves. On top of that, Google is expected to release its own Chrome notebook computer. (It will be interesting to see how this turns out, since the Nexus One smartphone from Google pretty much just faded away.)

Google has been promising a OS for about a year now, and it appears that the company is ready to launch. Some of the company's partners include Qualcomm, Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, Texas Instruments and . Google is doing its best to make the Chrome OS appealing, offering it as a viable (and free) consumer alternative to Mac OS and Windows. However, as InformationWeek reports, Google has a tough road ahead:

For decades, consumers have had only two choices for their computers: Mac OS and Windows. There's Linux, of course, but it's never really been a viable option for those who aren't technically savvy.

Google wants Chrome OS to appeal to the masses. It comes at the right price -- free -- but it faces many obstacles, not the least of which is Google's lack of retail success. Against the retail might of Apple and Microsoft and the years of brand loyalty accrued by those companies, Google will have to do a lot more to sell Chrome OS than it did to sell the Nexus One.

Chrome OS is designed for most activities to take place within the cloud, or on the web. The idea is to make the OS a very thin client on top of Google's already-launched Chrome Internet browser. Also due to launch before the end of the year is the Chrome app store. A Chrome tablet has not yet been announced, though; it is possible that Google is not quite ready to take on the iPad.

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What is Google Chrome OS?

An exact date for the launch has yet to be set, though, and there is some speculation that it may not come off. However, if Chrome OS is set to be released this year, it is likely that it will be soon. probably doesn't want to miss out on potential holiday sales.

Explore further: Google Chrome Goes 3D

More information:
Thomas Claburn, "Google-Branded Chrome Notebook May Launch In November," InformationWeek (November 2, 2010). Available online: www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/desktop/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228100070&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All

Mark Hachman, "Report: First Chrome OS Notebooks Due in Nov.," PCMag.com (November 2, 2010). Available online: www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371937,00.asp

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5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2010
from what we've seen of Chrome OS, it appears to offer Tomorrow what Ubuntu 10.04's Unity is very nearly offering today; and yes, I'm rather fond of my zareason.com Unity netbook, it took some practice to get into the new way of approaching the machine (somewhere closer to Android than your typical NetBook) but once in, the water is fine!
not rated yet Nov 03, 2010
Ubuntu 10.10 is already out for almost a month, upgrade.
5 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2010
Have been a devoted Chrome browser user since introduction. Was sick and tired of daily crashes using Explorer. Chrome never crashes - even with 20-30 open tabs. Looking forward to OS. Will be a super product.
not rated yet Nov 04, 2010
Same here Rowan... Chrome web browser was a bit flakey with flash to being with but for a long time now it's been so rock solid. As a professional web developer I recommend it to all my clients and once they get the hang of having more screen real estate and less buttons and more intelligent functionality they can't thank me enough. Here's hoping the operating system is the same sort of experience, looking forward to it!
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 04, 2010
Isn't the iPad an instant-on device as described here? Does a lot more than just browse the internet.. just a thought.

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