Google ‘Chromebook’ focuses on business applications

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13 May 2011 | 0

Google took another step toward the enterprise this week when executives unveiled the ‘Chromebook,’ a notebook PC that could boost both its new operating system and cloud apps.

At its annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, the company unveiled the notebook PCs that run Google’s Chrome operating system.

“They aren’t going to make a lot of money in the short term on either the OS or the devices, but they’re playing a longer-term game here,” said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. “What it does is give people an inexpensive Net-enabled device that is tailor-made for Google’s personal productivity and other applications.”

Google can only benefit by continuing to move users’ computing experience toward the Web, said Ray Valdes, an analyst at Gartner. “Chromebook is intended to be a better netbook — Web-optimized, lightweight, secure and easier to administer,” he added. “It won’t compete directly against conventional laptops and tablets, although certain segments of the market will overlap in all three categories.”

 

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Consumers in the US will be able to order the first Chromebooks, which will come from Samsung and Acer, on 15 June from Amazon.com and Best Buy.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group, said he’s intrigued by the idea of a purely Web-based computer and said the enterprise might be too.

“First, it’s much more secure,” Kerravala said. “All the content and apps live in the cloud, so if a device is lost or stolen, there’s no risk. And it’s great for road warriors because it’s instant-on and doesn’t have the usual issues of having to update patches. It’s all automatic.”

The Chromebook isn’t a particularly powerful machine, but it doesn’t need to be. Samsung will sell a Wi-Fi-only model for $429 that has an Intel Atom dual-core processor, 12.1″. display, two USB ports, a 4-in-1 memory card slot, and a full-size keyboard and trackpad. The Acer machine will have an 11.6″, LED-backlit LCD display, an Intel Atom dual-core processor, a high definition webcam, two USB ports, a 4-in-1 in memory card slot, an HDMI port and a full-size keyboard and trackpad. It will sell for $349.

IDG News Service

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