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Acer, the world largest netbook manufacturer will reportedly launch a Chrome OS netbook next month.
A Iventek netbook will reportedly launch this month with HP and Acer models soon to follow

Microsoft's reign as kingpin of the netbook operating system world may soon be challenged.  According to a report in Digitimes, several hardware makers are preparing new netbooks for the holiday season that ditch Windows and instead use Google's Chrome OS, a highly customized Linux distribution.

According to the report, the first Chrome OS product to land will be a first-party design, with hardware from Ivantek.  Google reportedly is following a similar model to the Nexus One with the device and will be selling it exclusively online.  It will not ship to traditional retailers. 

The netbook's hardware is designed by Ivantek, but only a few details are available at present.  The lightweight laptop is expected to employ an ARM processor.  ARM has certain energy efficiency advantages over x86 architectures, but currently is not supported by any Windows PC operating system.  ARM processors are found in popular smart phones like the iPhone 4 and Samsung Epic 4G (Samsung Galaxy S).

Google is reportedly hoping to initially ship 60k to 70k units.

Acer, who makes the best-selling Acer Aspire One netbook, and Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest computer brand are expected to follow with competitive designs in December, according to parts suppliers.  Both vendors will have their hardware manufactured and designed by Quanta Computer.

A fourth manufacturer -- Asustek -- is reportedly eying the market, considering a possible Chrome OS product of its own.

The majority of netbooks currently being sold run lightweight configurations of Windows 7.  A handful still use Windows XP, the OS most commonly used on older netbooks.  Many have argued that Windows is not an optimal OS for netbooks due to its lack of ARM support, resource demands, and other concerns.  However, few cohesive competitors have presented themselves until now.

Chrome OS marks Google's first PC operating system.  The internet giant has had tremendous success in the smart phone market and currently owns almost half of the U.S. smart phone market, by far more than any other smart phone OS.  In global smart phone OS market share, it is second only to Nokia.

With Google-powered netbooks on the market, suppliers believe that interest could return to netbooks.  Netbook sales have been cannibalized by Apple's hot iPad tablet computer.  Google is also airing competitive tablets, with a handful of 7-inch entries, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab already on the market.


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Linus is smiling
By dani31 on 11/2/2010 11:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
I see a bright future for Linux with Google behind Android and Chrome OS.




RE: Linus is smiling
By Spivonious on 11/2/2010 11:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that Chrome OS is simply a web browser running on top of Linux, right? 99% of users won't even realize they're on Linux.


RE: Linus is smiling
By drycrust3 on 11/2/2010 12:04:37 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
99% of users won't even realize they're on Linux.

I like your subject heading: Excellent!
If the difference isn't apparent to them when they are using it, then that will be not only a huge compliment to Linux, but it will also be a huge incentive for manufacturers to consider other Linux distributions for regular computers as well in preference to Windows.


RE: Linus is smiling
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 12:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

Slide a well designed Chrome Netbook out to consumers and load it up with OpenOffice, the Gimp, and GoogleDocs. People will love it. In a year or two the market will be cutting the Windows-cable completely. If it wasn't for being a PC gamer I wouldn't even have a Windows desktop at home. I wonder if anyone at Microsoft has realized that pushing the Xbox360 was helping to kill their consumer OS?


RE: Linus is smiling
By Spivonious on 11/2/2010 12:54:58 PM , Rating: 3
Chrome OS cannot run standalone applications, unless they changed something. It boots to a web browser.


RE: Linus is smiling
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 4:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
It sits on Linux. All any Linux app needs to run is a wrapper so that it can sit inside of Chrome. It will take a bit more coding to adapt, but it is going to be tinkered with anyway to optimize for ARM. And of course it will need to be prepped through some type of marketplace.


RE: Linus is smiling
By Da W on 11/2/2010 2:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Lol every time people predict the end of Windows, Microsoft strikes back with another quarter of record profits.
Windows will continue to evolve too you know? Right now Chrome OS seems to be as good as Windows Millenium with an integrated web browser.


RE: Linus is smiling
By xti on 11/2/2010 3:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
no kidding.

i love the 'if i wasnt a gamer' post a few replys up...well then, MS knows exactly what its doing to take your money.


RE: Linus is smiling
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 4:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
And they failed to do it. Since I don't do MMOs the only thing I need Windows for is Civ 5 right now. I don't own a 360/PS3 right now, but if I do buy a nexgen console I won't see the need to be investing in more upgrades to a PC. I must admit that it is a hell of a lot cheaper to buy a console every 5-7 years than to keep up with the CPU and GPU requirements of top PC games.


RE: Linus is smiling
By Da W on 11/2/2010 5:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but PC games are fun. I know i'm crasy when a count my 500$ upgrade + 60$ a game just to play starcraft and civ, but i must love it if i spend so much.

Anyway, for web browsing / e-mail / word processing, you can get a 300$ PC theses days. I don't see how the PC could die at such a cheap price point. You better deliver some good shit with your tablets/phones/brain-transplanted-chips.

AT 1000$ and above, a PC is and always will be more powerful than any other electronic devices on the market. You can do more things, run better games, stock more mp3s, watch full resolution movies... the PC is the testbed for new technologies.

Whatever your need is, there is a PC for you at just the right price point. So PCs won't die.


RE: Linus is smiling
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 6:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Civ V runs fine in wine from what I've heard:
1. sudo apt-get install wine
2. Run game installer
3. wget http://www.kegel.com/wine/winetricks && sh ./winetricks d3xd9
4. cd <winedir>/Program files/<civdir>/ && wine civilization5.exe

You can also install it though steam as well I believe. Give it a try anyway, that way you can ditch windows for good ;)


RE: Linus is smiling
By B3an on 11/3/2010 6:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
No one serious about games in any way could possibly use Linux.
Theres no guarantee things will always work 100% correct with Wine. New games wont instantly work, maybe never will (does it even support DX10 and 11? dont think so), and graphics drivers are appalling, and often out of date. Even installing a graphics driver can be a mission.
It was probably easier to get games running on Windows 3.1 back in the day than it is with Wine today.


RE: Linus is smiling
By B3an on 11/3/2010 6:51:35 AM , Rating: 2
I also forgot to mention the inferior performance and lower frames rates you will get on the games that actually work.


RE: Linus is smiling
By Trisagion on 11/2/2010 11:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
You forget webOS and the soon to be released Meego...


RE: Linus is smiling
By jonmcc33 on 11/2/2010 11:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
Until people try to install Windows applications on Chrome OS powered netbooks. Then they will get pissed and take it back for one with Windows 7 Starter on it.

Linux loses again.


RE: Linus is smiling
By drycrust3 on 11/2/2010 12:20:30 PM , Rating: 1
As I understand the term "netbook", there is an implication that it will only run a browser. As such, you won't be downloading applications and using them. If you wanted to do more than use a browser then you would get the notebook version at least.
Of course, the difficulty in downloading malware will annoy malware writers as well, but I guess you can't please everyone.
Microsoft are finally putting their Office Suite onto a website as well. Not sure if it was netbooks that drove that or OpenOffice.


RE: Linus is smiling
By lexluthermiester on 11/22/2010 10:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As I understand the term "netbook", there is an implication that it will only run a browser.


That maybe it primary function, but not it's only. I use mine as an all-around mobile pc.

quote:
As such, you won't be downloading applications and using them. If you wanted to do more than use a browser then you would get the notebook version at least.


Really? Since when?

quote:
Microsoft are finally putting their Office Suite onto a website as well. Not sure if it was netbooks that drove that or OpenOffice.


My bet is on OpenOffice. But then again, I don't and will never use online apps. If it will not run local on my machine, then no way Jose. Even with today's broadband, the internet goes down quite offen and if I'm not able to access a critical function because the online component is out of touch, I'm gonna be mighty pissed and put out.

Stand-alone computing is not going away and netbooks running an os will always have some form of root access to functionality.


RE: Linus is smiling
By kmmatney on 11/2/2010 12:26:32 PM , Rating: 4
I assume there will be an App store, and all allowed applications must be installed through there. This would make life easier for most people.


RE: Linus is smiling
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 6:40:29 PM , Rating: 2
You will be able to run legacy windows applications on ChromeOS via Chromoting.


RE: Linus is smiling
By omnicronx on 11/2/2010 12:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
We shall see, I have a bad feeling it is going to crash and burn. Devices utilizing ChromeOS are not going to come cheap at first (they are going to require SSD's and some more expensive components), so I just don't see how they are going to compete unless its on the tablet front..(even then it is going to be a bumpy road)

I just don't see them having any success on the desktop/laptop front. Not without any kind of aforementioned developer support. I've played around with Chromium OS over the last little while and while I can see the potential, but they still have a long way to go before competing on ANY front..

The mobile front is not the desktop front, it has been shown you can enter the mobile market without software upfront (and slowly grow overtime, just look at how much trouble Apple had, and quite frankly would probably not be here today if not for their other products). I just don't believe that to be true in the more conventional desktop market.


RE: Linus is smiling
By kmmatney on 11/2/2010 12:41:23 PM , Rating: 2
That's probably why they are keeping this small - once there are a sizable number of applications, and an App store, it will be ready for a larger market. I haven't played with the Chrome OS myself (I'm downloading the LiveCD now), but I can see it's potential as well. I think most people still need their windows applications to switch over to something like this

I wonder if this lights a fire under Microsoft and Intel, though.


RE: Linus is smiling
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 6:59:35 PM , Rating: 1
The arm architechture is more powerful, more efficient, and cheaper than intel's old, creaking x86 arch.That means, better graphics (html 5 webgl games will become very popular because they can be run in the browser just like a flash video), and significantly longer battery life.

The wintel monopoly will eventually wither away and die, and this is very good for the average consumer because it will lower prices, promote innovation, and remove the stranglehold microsoft has on hardware manufacturers and OEM's.

As far as developers are concerned, Google has every web developer in the world, for the fundamental reason for developing ChromeOS is to shift the fat client paradigm to a thin client web/cloud standardised platform. You only need to be versed in the latest web technologies (javascript, AJAX, html 5) to write an app for ChromeOS. We're taking about millions of developers and web apps/sites that already exist out there that can be used in it.

ChromeOS, the cloud, the browser, and web apps are the future. The bloated windows OS's are the past, and microsoft knows it. Standardisation (especially of web technology) is microsoft's biggest threat, for without its proprietary lockin's, MS is doomed.


RE: Linus is smiling
By epobirs on 11/2/2010 10:44:41 PM , Rating: 2
ARM isn't all that new. The first ARM processor, used in the Archimedes PC sold in the UK during the 80s, competed against 80286 systems that were common then.

And why would it have much bearing on graphics? The GPU in the device will matter far, far more to graphics performance.

Further, you fail to understand how the standard created by Wintel benefited consumers. There is a reason why systems like the Amigas, Ataris, etc. fell by the wayside and the last major holdout, Apple, eventually ended up adopting Intel for its Mac systems. It just wasn't possible for any competing architecture to muster the numbers needed to maintain the level of investment required to keep competitive. ARM has become a big player by avoiding the sector entirely after its long ago origin there.

Microsoft doesn't appear too threatened by web standards. In fact, a recent comparison put them at the head of pack using the IE9 beta.

What can be done in HTML 5 is impressive but only in comparison to past web offerings and much older native code work. Being able to reproduce what was being done more than a decade ago isn't exactly a threat to those working on cutting edge products that more directly tap into the underlying hardware platform. 'Run everywhere' code is always going to trail the performance of platform specific code. Which is just fine. Everything advances and there are better toys all around.


RE: Linus is smiling
By JediJeb on 11/3/2010 2:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I hate to I must agree with this. I only hate it because it has allowed MS to stay one step ahead of all competitors which kills any advantage to the users in the way of lowering our costs by having more direct competition. There are standard formats out there for text documents and spreadsheets which programs like OpenOffice adhere to, and MS even supports. Yet MS always has to tweak their default formats to be just different enough that they are not compatible with everyone else, take docx for example.

What really burns me about things like this is what happens here at work. We can't afford to put MS Office on every computer because of the pricing they have, yet our IT guy won't allow OpenOffice simply because it doesn't have "tech support" that you can simply call up on a 1-800 number. We could put MSOffice on the few we need to use for compatibility with clients who only use it, and run OpenOffice on the rest that are only for internal memos and spreadsheets we need for the lab, but so far we have to stand in line for a computer with Office on it when we need to do something.

I think other operating systems would have a chance now if only the final document formats could be standardized and the standard usage enforced. Just like you can hook either a MS, Apple, Linux or Unix box to an ether net network and they will all talk to each other because the ether net standard is set across all platforms, the same would be beneficial if documents worked the same way.


RE: Linus is smiling
By Reinman on 11/2/2010 12:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
I can see apple suing google for this chrome OS. The layout at the bottom is more like apple OS.


RE: Linus is smiling
By kingius on 11/3/2010 7:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
Google is world famous for its tracking of user information which it can then monetise and for its stance on stating that privacy is a thing of the past. For example, the tracking of keyboard entries into their Chrome browser as a user types.

I would like to see Chrome OS evaluated in this light and to get too caught up on it being based upon free code.


price point is the key...
By tlbj6142 on 11/2/2010 11:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
Netbooks currently sell for $250-$400 new. I assume a significant portion of that amount is due to OS licensing (Windows). If Chrome OS netbooks do not come in at or under the $250 mark, they will fail.

I'm still looking for the usable $150-$200 browser and email client platform. But haven't found one yet. Most spend too much on storage (it is a cloud device, who needs much local storage, get a USB stick if you want local storage) or too much on horsepower (I don't really need to be able to watch 1080p with 5.1 sound on my 9-11" netbook).




RE: price point is the key...
By Pessimism on 11/2/2010 11:26:25 AM , Rating: 2
You will never see a client platform under $200. Companies are simply too greedy. Best bet is a secondhand pentium-M era thinkpad for about $200, running tinycore linux off a cd or USB stick. Access to hundreds of applications, a full web browser, and enough CPU power to kick the stuffing out of any $300 bigbox electronics atom netbook


RE: price point is the key...
By kmmatney on 11/2/2010 1:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
You can just run ChromeOS off a USB stick as well:

http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/

probably easier for most people, rather than trying to run Linux.


RE: price point is the key...
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 7:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
You clearly haven't used Ubuntu lately. It's easy as pie and everything just works out of the box. No need to hunt down software on the web like in windows, just run the Ubuntu Software Centre and install all the free games and applications to your hearts content. Simplez ;)


RE: price point is the key...
By kmmatney on 11/2/2010 9:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
I have used Ubuntu (at least in the last year) and it works well. But I still think its a bit heavy for these light netbooks - Chrome can boot up much faster, "instant-on".

On a work-trip to Japan, my co-worker's hard drive died in his laptop - but we were able to download a Ubuntu LiveCD, and he really didn't miss a beat with work. it took forever to start from a CD, though.


RE: price point is the key...
By majorpain on 11/3/2010 8:52:43 AM , Rating: 2
Linux does that for a few years now... you do know that ChromeOS is built on top of Linux right?


RE: price point is the key...
By theapparition on 11/2/2010 1:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I assume a significant portion of that amount is due to OS licensing (Windows).

And you would be wrong. Windows starter licensing is a very small portion of the unit cost.

quote:
If Chrome OS netbooks do not come in at or under the $250 mark, they will fail.

This I completely agree with you.


RE: price point is the key...
By PrezWeezy on 11/2/2010 1:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I assume a significant portion of that amount is due to OS licensing (Windows).


Last I heard MS was selling to the netbook manufacturers at $15. Not a lot of money in reality.


RE: price point is the key...
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 7:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
Only because GNU/Linux is a threat. When MS has a monopoly you can say bye bye to those hugely discounted prices.


RE: price point is the key...
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 7:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
You also forgot that windows 7 requires significantly more resources (processor, memory, disk space, graphics) than GNU/Linux. That's why they are higher priced, not just because of the license fees,


AAA gaming support
By tviceman on 11/2/2010 12:14:37 PM , Rating: 1
If Chrome brought on AAA gaming support and could run DX games without any compatibility issues I'd happily switch.




RE: AAA gaming support
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 12:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't going to be selling things that run Crysis right off the bat.

I hope they act a little like Apple. Make their devices look a lot like an Air. Real thin and long battery life, which should be easy with a dual-core ARM. Perhaps make them with a dual storage design - a small SSD, maybe 16GB, that hold the OS and apps with varying size 1.8 or 2.5" drives available for bulk data storage. Due to the cheap components I bet they could sell a really nice one with a 10-12" IPS screen for about $500. That would sell like crazy.


RE: AAA gaming support
By Nutzo on 11/2/2010 4:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
Active sync for email access, and remote desktop so users can connect to the office to run PC apps if needed. This would fit the bill for alot of my office users.
No need for a full heavy laptop, just a desktop in the office and a cheap thin/light netbook. Don't even need much local storage, just 16-32 GB for some apps to view attachments, some games, etc. Total cost would actually be less than high-end laptop.


RE: AAA gaming support
By misuspita on 11/4/2010 8:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
http://hothardware.com/News/Toshibas-Tegra-250Powe...

Look at this. It-s what you asked for. Air-Thin, Longlife battery (many days standby)... Perfect for web browsing.

I think I just found my next netbook... :)


RE: AAA gaming support
By ResStellarum on 11/2/2010 7:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
ChromeOS doesn't need DirectX (a platform dependent proprietary microsoft product) when it has WebGL, html5 etc. Did you see the quake game example running directly in the browser? Microsoft's bloated non-standardised proprietary lockin has had its day. It's time for open standards to take over.


RE: AAA gaming support
By rennya on 11/2/2010 9:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares about Quake? Does it run Crysis? That's a question to be answered.

Will ChromeOS runs Firefox for Linux?
Will ChromeOS runs OpenOffice/LibreOffice for Linux?
Will ChromeOS runs mplayer for Linux?
Will ChromeOS runs Wine?
Will ChromeOS runs GIMP for Linux?
Will ChromeOS runs Eclipse IDE for Linux?
etc. etc.

But the most important question about ChromeOS is...

Will ChromeOS works just fine WITHOUT AN INTERNET CONNECTION?

If the answer is no, this device will not succeed outside America.


RE: AAA gaming support
By lexluthermiester on 11/22/2010 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the answer is no, this device will not succeed outside America.


Heck, it likely won't succeed here!


RE: AAA gaming support
By lexluthermiester on 11/22/2010 10:50:23 AM , Rating: 2
But to be fair, if it will run stand-alone, then it has a good chance of success.


RE: AAA gaming support
By epobirs on 11/2/2010 10:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
Running a game from 1996 is not AAA gaming. In reality, HTML 5 and associated technologies are not a remotely a substitute for current DX and other technologies used by native code PC game developers. Nor is it intended to be.

Advancing the web doesn't mean everything else withers and dies. It just means web standards are where they should be in relation to cutting edge native platform work.


Come on Google...
By Shatbot on 11/2/2010 10:55:17 AM , Rating: 1
For all the advertising they do for other companies online, you'd think they would get a better sales model. Why on EARTH would you want to sell this like the Nexus 1?

I love Google but this seems like a really dumb idea. People don't go to Google.com/netbook to buy a netbook, they generally buy it from a store, online or otherwise.




RE: Come on Google...
By icrf on 11/2/2010 11:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
It keeps the initial run at a small scale. It makes more sense for ChromeOS, which isn't public anywhere yet, than it did for the Nexus One, considering how many Android handsets were already available.

Maybe like the N1, this will become the reference development platform for the OS, and that they have it open to the public and not just developers is a side note.


RE: Come on Google...
By nafhan on 11/2/2010 11:09:20 AM , Rating: 2
The main reason the Nexus didn't sell well was carrier subsidies (lack of them to be specific). Someone could get a similar phone for $300-$400 less directly from the carrier. Unless you know of a group subsidising wifi only netbooks, the Nexus One example doesn't really apply.
Plus, other than the Ivantek netbook, I'd assume these will be selling at retail/Amazon/etc., too.


RE: Come on Google...
By kattanna on 11/2/2010 11:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
People don't go to Google.com/netbook to buy a netbook, they generally buy it from a store, online or otherwise


and for this product you dont want the general masses buying this product. at least not right away.

can you imagine just how happy people would be thinking they are simply buying a new netbook, then going home and trying to install their old MS software on the new machine would be?

by not having this product mass available only the technically inclined will initially get the product to give it a good shake down run. then once word gets out about WHAT it is from the tech savvy, they can release it in mass to positive word of mouth.

if they just suddenly dumped this in best buy, you can bet grandma will buy one cause the sales person willnt know, or care. only that they got their commission.


RE: Come on Google...
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 12:49:34 PM , Rating: 1
How many iPads were returned when customers couldn't find the DVD drive to stick their MS Office disk?

These will be sold as GoogleOS - so MSidiots should know not to buy them.


I predict....
By Kremlar on 11/3/2010 8:20:14 AM , Rating: 2
A high return rate!




RE: I predict....
By cjohnson2136 on 11/3/2010 3:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
and why is that?


I wonder...
By Alexstarfire on 11/2/2010 2:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
how battery life will fair. Much bigger battery, but the power used shouldn't increase all that much. I imagine the bigger screen is where most of the increase in power will go to.




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