Google has given us a look at its new Chrome OS laptop, with the company’s head honcho describing it as the Network Computer devices that he was pitching while chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems 13 years ago.
According to Google the new laptops will use the operating-system software that is based largely on Google’s Chrome Web browser and are designed primarily to run Web-based applications. This, it seems, is because Google hopes to shift software development away from applications that use Windows.
And Eric Schmidt is confident that the idea will take off, claiming that the Web-based development tools used to build programs for Chrome OS have had had years to mature. “Our instincts were right… but we didn’t have the tools,” he said of the computer industry’s failure to make lightweight computers that could compete with Microsoft Windows in the enterprise.
He said he was also confident that businesses will now buy computers that can’t run programs such as Word or Excel.
According to Digitimes, Inventec has already confirmed that it has shipped about 60,000 Chrome OS-based netbooks to Google, which are expected to be used for testing.
Acer, which is tipped along with Samsung to be the first to manufacturer the laptops, has cooperated with Quanta Computer to develop a 10.1-inch Atom N550-based Chrome OS netbook, featuring both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules.
In a blog post Linus Upson, VP Engineering and Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management described how the laptop would work.
“The test notebooks exist only to test the software—they are black, have no branding, no logos, no stickers, nothing,” they wrote.
“They do have 12.1 inch screens, full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time. Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly, are easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute. And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure.”
It has also been designed to run software over the network. Java has also been replaced and developers can use the same Web development tools they’ve been working with for years.