RealTime IT News

Will Anyone Care When Chrome Netbooks Ship?

Google talked up its bold plans for Chrome OS-powered netbooks almost a year ago and yet as the holiday shopping season approaches, it appears less and less likely the machines will ship this year.

And, as Hardware Central reports, even if Google does manage to get the netbooks shipped this year it may not matter because the market has fallen in love with tablet PCs, particularly the iPad, and there may not be enough reason for enterprise or consumer customers to give Google netbooks a shot.

Without providing a more specific date or the vendors it's working with, Google says it still plans to deliver the devices sometime this year.

"We are very happy with the progress of Chrome OS and expect devices will be available later this year. We'll have more details to share at launch," a Google spokesman said in an email.

Is Google's ambitious plan to spark a new generation of netbooks powered by its Web-oriented Chrome OS in trouble?

Some analysts think so.

Google announced its netbook strategy at a highly publicized preview of its Chrome operating system November at the Googleplex. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) officials said the company was working with various select hardware makers to support a new line of "Pro" netbooks that would sport faster processors, bigger keyboards and Chrome OS for running Web applications and services.

While these netbooks are set to have relatively limited storage, they primarily will depend on the cloud for applications -- a very different model than the typical Windows netbook and notebook model where applications are stored locally. Google also said the Chrome OS would ensure the netbooks are more secure from malware and viruses than the current generation, making them, potentially, especially appealing to IT buyers, though the lack of Microsoft Windows and related applications would be considered a negative for many.

Read the full story at Hardware Central:
Google Chrome OS Netbooks: Wait Till Next Year?