Google to pilot Chrome OS notebooks

Dylan Bushell-Embling
08 Dec 2010

Google has launched a program to trial notebooks running its upcoming web-based browser, Chrome OS.

The company will give unbranded notebooks to users, developers, schools and businesses in the US. It is taking registration for the pilot on the Chrome OS website.

In a blog post, Google VP of engineering Linus Upson and VP of product management Sundar Pichai said the trial has been set up to help iron out the bugs in the OS.

“Chrome OS is at the stage where we need feedback from real users. Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers,” they said.

The company demonstrated the prototype to be trialed at a recent press event in San Francisco.

Acer and Samsung will start selling notebooks running Chrome OS in the first half of next year, with more manufacturers set to follow.

Chrome OS notebooks will come with an integrated cellular module from Qualcomm, supporting CDMA, GSM and Wi-Fi.

In the US, Verizon Wireless will provide 3G services, with 100MB of free data per month for two years. Users exceeding this cap may pay for either more data allocation or daily passes for $9.99, GigaOMsaid.

Upson and Pichai said Chrome OS could also be used in devices beyond notebooks.

Google yesterday also launched the Chrome app store, offering around 500 apps.

Google is taking a 5% cut on apps sold through the store, and will allow developers to set their own prices, Reuterssaid.

The browser, which forms the basis for the Chrome OS, now has around 120 million users, up from 40 million in 2009, Google said.

MORE ARTICLES ON: Acer, Chrome, Google, Samsung, Verizon Wireless

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