Chrome Netbooks, Tablets Expected This Year [CONFIRMED]


chrome-androidWe know you love you some Android, and the mobile OS has become pretty darn dominant over the past three years, but it’s no secret that Google has some other tricks up their sleeve besides Search Engines and Androids. While Chrome Browser hasn’t taken off in terms of adoption and market share like the search giant had hoped, it IS one of the primary options of an oligopoly driven market. And if you can remember, it wasn’t too long ago that we were talking about Chrome neck-and-neck with Android, wondering if one of them would swallow the other one in the long run.

This is a friendly reminder that while Android seems to have taken over mother earth recently, Chrome could be a dark horse this holiday season. Last night we saw the launch of Sony Internet TV, essentially an iteration of Google TV, featuring Android 2.1 and eventually featuring Android Market. But Google TV is also pumped full of Chrome juice, something that you can’t really miss when searching your Google TV (Omnibar FTW).

I’ve been surprised at the lack of excitement for Google TV in the Android universe but I think the phans will come around once the product is in the streets. And when Android Market lands on the units – watch out. But while Android and Chrome combined to form their Google TV love child, it doesn’t say much about Google’s overall Chrome initiative.

What initiative you might ask? A little something the world forgot about called Chrome OS. To jog your memory, perhaps you should watch this video from November 19th, 2009 where they show sample products and promise Chrome OS products in one year time, including launch plans.

It’s almost a year later and Google has confirmed that Chrome OS hardware will launch before the end of the year:

In terms of Google Chrome OS schedule, we are very happy with the progress of Chrome OS and expect devices will be available later this year. We’ll have more details to share at launch.

In August, Google filed for the Speedbook Trademark, and it’s looking like Chrome OS Tablets could be included in the mix along with Netbooks. I’ve said before that the launch of the iPad will only help Android and Chrome have success on Netbooks, Tablets and other form factors. But now, as Chrome hardware waits silently and patiently in the shadow of Android, I think it’s a great time to revive the discussion about the intersection of Android Avenue and Chrome Court.

While Sergey Brin said they “will likely converge over time,” Eric Schmidt had this to offer:

In fact the Chrome OS is a different product and a different target market. One way to think about it is that Android is really targeted towards people who are phone centric… and we all understand what phone-centric means: it’s a mobile device, it has a Wi-Fi connection and you carry it. If it isn’t a phone it’s something like a phone – a tablet or something like that.

The Chrome OS is really targeted at the PC/Netbook-centric user. And that’s somebody who is at a desk, they’ve got a keyboard or something like that, they’ve got a reasonable screen and a they’ve got a good processor.

The uses are different and we don’t think the two completely overlap.

That was November 23rd, 2009 and things were a lot different then. That’s when Google still thought they could revolutionize the method of mobile phone buying. They’ve since abandoned that and more recently taken a different approach that pretty much admits defeat in terms of selling phones direct.

Android has, up until now, been mainly featured on smartphones with 4.3-inch screens or smaller. With the launch of Google TV, the biggest takeaway was that the largest screen in your house wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. Google TV would make better (and awesome) use of your television… with the help of Android and Chrome together. But what about screen sizes in between? What ABOUT netbooks? What ABOUT tablets?

Android netbooks have, thus far, failed pretty miserably. Android tablets it appears, with offerings like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, could become pretty popular. It’s clear that the use-case for Chrome OS is different than that of Android, but might creating Android this and Chrome OS that further confuse consumers who are still trying to figure out what “Droid” really means? Or could Google be working on a hybrid solution for larger devices that makes use of both Android and Chrome, similar to the nature and integration of Google TV?

I don’t have all the answers, but if Google makes good on their promise to release Chrome OS products later this year we won’t have long to wait. But as we saw with the Nexus One experiment, Google isn’t too proud to admit they miscalculated and take a newer and re-calculated approach, and they should be applauded for that. Either way, until we know the bottom line, I’m asking you again one year later…

What will we see from Chrome and Chrome OS this holiday season and how will it affect Android?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. chrome browser has taken off, it is around 8 percent of the market, more than safari which comes preinstalled on macs,ipads and iphones

  2. Chrome OS and Android can live in harmony. Android is aimed at Smartphones, while Chrome OS is aimed at Netbooks and Tablets. Heck, eventually, the two may merge.

  3. I see it merging more in the tablets and larger arena as I feel the screen real estate could benefit from the Browser. A lot of integration and work needs to go into a browser to make it small enough to fit on little 4″ screens

  4. cloud based OS? No thanks.

  5. Coming to a Best Buy near you this holiday season: Google Toothbrush.

  6. ^ LOL they are researching self driving cars…:)

  7. “We know you love you some Android, and the mobile OS has become pretty darn dominant over the past three years”

    You mean 2 years. My G1 will be turning 2 later this month, and I got it on the first day it came out :) Having the OS in development shouldn’t count, otherwise you might as well say six years or go all the way to beginning of Linux or Unix.

  8. @Alex – Android was announced in 2007 ;)

  9. saying that chrome hasn’t taken off like google wanted it to is just silly. chrome has quickly taken a lot of the market share

  10. If it isn’t reliant on a carrier to be sold, I’m open to giving it a look. I have an EVO and just want to be able to tether to it.

  11. I would really like to see Chrome as the default browser for Gingerbread or at least Honeycomb. I’d like to see a tabbed solution and the third party solutions out there ain’t cutting it.

  12. @kevin – while you could consider under 10% market share a success, I think they were aiming for something a bit higher. Especially considering they have the most visited website on the planet to promote their… web browser.

  13. I’ve played with builds of the ChromeOS (Chromium) on my laptop and it seems like it would be excellent for netbooks. Still, I would like them to finish working on integrating a media player for local and network media. Once there is a local/network file browser and media player I would be fine with installing it on a slim PC like a nettop and using it as a basic media center.

  14. Android and Chrome should definitely merge. I would love to see Chrome as the default browser on android with Gingerbread. I don’t really understand chrome as an OS because its a web browser and not much else. Google TV looks sick but i’m holding of on the revenue because it doesn’t have a DVR built in. I hope Google continues with android for a long time and i would love to see android on a desktop or laptop. i would love an android tablet but my dad gripes enough about the data plan on my phone

  15. Android 3.0 is more tablet capable according to rumors so my make Chrome OS? Maybe Chrome OS will be an addition to android 3.0 on Tablets so that it has all the features of Android with the “Stability” of The Chrome OS. Just combine the two on tablets its not rocket science Google! Its just Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

  16. Who said Chrome hasnt taken off? Are you kidding me? It has been the only browser gaining traction at a faster rate than any other browser out there (including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari and IE).

  17. “Chrome the OS” is not “Chrome the web-browser”. Chrome the web-browser is essentially already available on Android, in the form of “Browser”, although the user interface is a bit different and it doesn’t support bookmark sync.

    “Chrome the OS” is essentially a more traditional linux distribution (it runs Xwindows instead of Android’s funky custom display library, for example), but entirely built around doing everything with the web-browser. And it’s really locked down, there’s no way to install local applications, you have to run everything in the web-browser. And it’s going to support the same sort of firmware lock-down methods that make it difficult to flash custom ROMs on Android phones. I’m really not seeing anything to be excited about, here.

  18. I’d like to get my hands on it and try it out, assuming I can download it for free and load it on an x86-based PC. If it’s not available for x86, I probably won’t even bother. I’m also not expecting much out of it, and would be far more interested in a desktop version of Android. The lack of your ability to store any data locally is not a big sell for me, because many of us can’t stay connected all the time all day long, and even if we are, sometimes it’s just faster to load something up from an SD card or internal storage than try to pull it down from the cloud, especially things like high-res pictures and videos. Sorry, but for most of the world, the internet is just not available enough or fast enough for a 100% cloud-based OS to succeed quite yet.

  19. If you want to give an OS a try that is (mostly) cloud based, download Jolicloud. You cannot install local apps in the same way as ubuntu or windows, but you can get to local storage. I installed it on my laptop and it is blazing fast, offers everything I need (web browsing, music/video player, cd burning, word processing, etc). Having something completely different that just works is kind of refreshing.

  20. Chrome needs a more conventional bookmark implementation to gain another 20-30% market share. HUUUGE oversight on googs behalf.

  21. Well, chrome os might be like Google wave and be a good idea ,but never really comes to light. Google is also beta software maker so they through out a lot of ideas and see what one works.Trying web tv is radical idea. I hope it takes off. web pages on big tv, anytime movies , music and new platform for app and interesting options. The sky is the limit.

  22. Does anyone else find the phrase “pumped full of Chrome juice” disturbing for some reason?

  23. chrome browser just doesn’t have the UI that I like from firefox. I have a chrome window open for facebook stuff but I use firefox for all the real browsing.

  24. @mindo ‘Convertional bookmarks’…? As in being able to flag a webpage and recall it later…that’s been there since the beginning and couldn’t be easier to use. You can toggle the bookmark bar to show all the time, perhaps that’s what you’re missing.

    The real reasons that market share is so hard to take from IE is due to corporate use and secondly less savvy users.

    Corporate use often means that the user can’t choose which browser they use. IE8 is only at 20% which when compared to the 11.5% market share for Chrome isn’t so bad after just 2 years. There are still 7.5% users using IE6! That’s surely all down to corporate use, while IE7 is still on 13% which is also a large number of out of date machines.

  25. Cloud based storage, very nice…. no need to worry for viruses …. very nice for non-tech people. I personally like Cloud based products, as I do not have to invest upfront.

  26. I personally see Chromium (Chrome OS, not to be confused with the browser) as a direct competitor to Android.
    This gives me concern about lack of focus on the mobile OS of choice, whichever it may turn out to be.
    OTOH, if Chromium is Open Source as well (and I don’t know if it is or not I’m embarrassed to admit) this could be a good thing. Imagine Google changing the charter of the OHSA to include a few clauses like “You may not make a proprietary bootloader with the intent of preventing aftermarket upgrades or replacement of the OS” to keep the hardware manufacturers “honest” in their implementation of Open Source software, and not just “Open Source, but you can’t change it”.

  27. “It’s the apps, stupid.” There’s 100,000 apps sitting in the Android market. If some decent percentage of those can be run in Chrome OS (or easily recompiled) then it’ll take off. If a dev has to write an app for iOS, Android AND Chrome…well…

  28. I cannot wait to get my Adam tablet. I’m really hoping it will come out next month.


  29. Being a gamer, it will never be on my home machine. Besides I’d rather stick to android. It is a more complete OS, and it has apps.

    God I hope I never have to say that Apple marketing drivel ever again :(.

  30. The Chrome web browser is doing great… Mutually everybody loves it and those who don’t gives it it due because of its speed.

    it’s been steadily gaining market share … and for web browser we should call it a RAPID PACE .. it’s hard to just grab market share out of nowhere when you have NO manufacturing partners .. it’s just word of mouth. Google does not even advertise

  31. Get real fanboys. Chrome is shyte when compared to Firefox.

  32. the best and cheap netbooks are made by Asus or MSI, if you want reliability then the best is Hitachi netbooks “

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