According to Google, netbooks sporting the new Google Chrome OS are supposed to hit the shelves at major stores before the end of the first quarter of 2011. It sounds quite ho-hum to me, considering the plethora of netbooks already available.
The Google Chrome OS
There isn’t a lot of information available about this particular operating system, but I’m willing to bet it will be another UNIX-based OS, with a GUI front-end designed around the Google Chrome web browser. This is exactly what Apple does with OS X, so it would be nothing new. It would be something new if it’s based on the Android operating system instead of UNIX.
The only thing that would set this apart from any other operating system is that it would be centered around the Internet browsing experience (the cloud) as the first and foremost option. Anything else would be secondary. This is completely opposite from the way previous operating systems were designed.
The Price Factor
According to the CEO of Google, the price of a new Google Chrome OS netbook would be in the $300-$400 price range. Another ho-hum moment. You can already buy netbooks in that price range. You want to make me sit up and take notice? Make it available for under $300 without skimping on features.
Of course, Google has no plans to build netbooks. The OS would be licensed to netbook manufacturers and they’re the ones who will set the price. It’s just that Microsoft charges for the OEM Windows versions bundled with netbooks and Google Chrome OS will probably be free. That alone should make the price point cheaper, although I don’t think the netbook manufacturers want to miss an opportunity for a profit margin.
The operating system may be important, but the internals of the netbook are just as important. Since Acer, among others, is now building netbooks using AMD processors that are supposedly faster and better than the Intel processors a lot of netbooks have in them, it’s going to make a world of difference if it’s true.
Netbooks with fast processors, capable of holding more than 2 gigabytes of memory, will make them preferred alternatives to the pricier notebooks. I don’t use my desktop computer for much more than what I use a netbook for – mostly Internet-related work. I think a lot of people are that way nowadays.
Will a netbook with Google Chrome OS be better than what’s available already? I don’t know and if someone says it will, I’ll believe it when I see it with my own two eyes.