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Chrome OS, Notebook and Web Store Unveiled

David Gilbert


Google Unveils Cr-48 As Pilot Chrome Notebook

We should warn people at the beginning that what follows is more Google-related news. Yes, we know you’ve had the Gingerbread, Nexus S and Honeycomb news already this week but it seems as if there is no end to its announcements.

Via a web-cast last night, Google revealed for the first time it first Chrome Os-powered notebook which will be called the Cr-48 (something to do with a molecule of Chromium we believe). While a lot had been known about this notebook prior to launch it was nice to finally see it in the flesh. Don’t get too excited however as this device will “exist only to test the software” and only a lucky few will get their mitts on it. If you think you would be a suitable guinea pig for the new device then just sign up for the Chrome OS Pilot Program. We believe there will be 60,000 notebooks shipped by manufacturer Inventec initially with more possibly to come.

The 12.1in notebook has no branding and is not-for-sale to the wider public. It will have (according to Google), eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time as well as integrated 3G from Verizon. The notebook will have flash storage, an over-sized clickpad and a full keyboard though without any function keys. Also the Caps Lock key has been replaced by a search button.

“Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly, are easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute. And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure,” a statement from Google read.

Acer and Samsung have been revealed as the companies who will first bring Chrome OS notebooks to the consumer market in the middle of 2011 with more manufacturers to follow. The blog post from Google also mentioned that Chrome OS is “designed to work across a wide range of screen sizes and form factors, enabling our partners to deliver computing devices beyond notebooks” – which could mean we will be seeing a Google tablet very soon.

In other news announced last night Google announced the launch of its Chrome Web Store which is open for business today but only in the US with promises of other areas getting access to the online app store in the coming months.

As regards the browser that started it all, Chrome has also been improved. With over 120 million people using Chrome according to Google, they have brought Google Instant to the Omnibox, showing search results and loading web pages as you type. They have also overhauled Chrome’s JavaScript engine, V8, claiming it now runs twice as fast as before. These two features are available in Chrome’s early access channels and will be rolling out to everyone soon.

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