Cloud Computing: Chrome OS Notebooks from Samsung, Acer Steal the Show at Google I/O
SAN FRANCISCOAt its Google I/O developer conference here, Google introduced notebooks based on its Chrome Operating System, the search engine's Web-based operating system for provisioning Web applications from the cloud to commodity hardware. Samsung and Acer are the first two Chromebook partners, each offering machines online June 15 from Best Buy and Amazon.com in the United States. The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook will be available in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. The Series 5 is priced at $429 for the WiFi-only model and $499 for a computer with a 3G radio. Acer's WiFi-only Chromebook will start at $349 and will be sold in the same markets. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome product management, said in his May 11 keynote that he envisions users will access their email, pictures, video and documents from Google's cloud. It's a bold bet against the Microsoft Windows hegemony and even against the second most powerful computing platform, Apple's Macintosh. Certainly, it remains to be seen whether users will eschew local computing and data storage for Google's cloud. The Chrome Web Store, which has processed 17 million app downloads, is now available in 41 languages to all Chrome users worldwide. This eWEEK slide show highlights the Chrome OS notebook news.