Analysts debate the merit of notebooks based on Google's Chrome Operating System, which are coming June 15 from Samsung and Acer via Best Buy and Amazon.com.
perhaps making no bigger gamble on its cloud-computing reputation than with
the launch of notebooks based on its Chrome operating system.
Chrome OS, the
search-engine giant's Web-based platform for computers, eschews the
traditional, localized platform and long-running BIOS startup process of
Microsoft Windows laptops for Web applications and machines with minimal Flash
storage that load within 8 seconds.
notebooks from Samsung and Acer at the Google I/O developer conference May 11.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook will sport a 12.1-inch screen and will cost
$429 for WiFi-only; the WiFi+3G model will run $499. Acer's 11.6-inch model
Chromebook will have fewer bells and whistles and will run $349.
Chromebooks will retail online June 15 at Amazon and Best Buy in the U.S., as
well as in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
consumer model is a traditional one-time purchase, Google is trying
new for businesses and schools: Chromebooks as a subscription
procure machines in bulk for $28 per user, per month. Schools may do the same
for $20 per user, per month. Each plan requires a three-year service agreement
that includes a warranty, support, service and hardware replacements when
IDC analyst Al
Hilwa said he could see such a model becoming more mainstream. The issue, he
argued, is whether consumers are comfortable being completely dependent on the
these systems are architected, it appears that their viability pivots on
connectivity," Hilwa told eWEEK. "There is no doubt that we will see
more and more things done in the cloud over time but I see this as an
with the Samsung Series 5, which comes in Arctic White or
Titan Silver, weighs only 3.3 pounds and booted within eight seconds. The
SuperBright screen was crisp and clear, and well-suited for use outdoors. Web
applications installed and loaded very quickly.
& Co analyst Peter Misek was less sanguine about Google's ambitious plan,
with respect to the inherent tensions it may create between Chrome OS and
Google's Android operating system, which leverages the cloud for smartphones
and tablet computers.