First we hear of the Nexus One Android phone, now talk of a Google branded Chrome OS netbook. Could the search giant really be moving into hardware?
According to TechCrunch "Google has, according to multiple sources, been talking to at least one hardware manufacturer about building a netbook for Google directly... aiming for the 2010 holiday season, a full year from now."
Much like the Nexus One rumours, TechCrunch alleges that a Google Chrome OS netbook would be sold directly via Google, while also being made available to networks on subsidised contracts. No hardware specs were mentioned, though the ARM verses Intel processor debate is already in full flow, especially with the Tegra 2 potentially causing quite a stir at CES 2010. Furthermore, given Google's obsession with speed and boot times, you'd have to think a small SSD would be the only via storage option.
Likelihood? I'd say it has every bit as much chance of being real as the photographed Nexus One. Then again, I remain sceptical about whether it will be anything more than an internal testing machine...
In related news Marks & Spencer has announced its own branded netbook with the rather cringe worthy line: "This is not just technology... This is M&S web book technology".
This is actually nonsense as the trendy chain has simply sourced a model from Elonex and it's the usual snoozefest of 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB RAM and 160GB HDD. Yep, the same combination that will be out of date come January when those faster, more power efficient new Atoms arrive.
It's available in three colours now for £279. We'd suggest M&S stick to food...