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Google Operating Systems Technology

Google Unveils Beta Chrome OS Notebook 140

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wait-this-is-new-now dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Google has unveiled a beta version of its Chrome OS notebook, dubbed CR48. The device will have a 12.1-inch screen and full-size keyboard, as well as an oversized, clickable touchpad. It will also include world-mode 3G and 802.11 dual-band Wi-Fi. Google promised eight hours of active use and eight days of standby, as well as a webcam.Those hoping to get their hands on a Chrome OS device, however, will either have to wait until mid-2011 or obtain one through one of several Google-backed giveaway options. Google plans to release two, Intel-based Chrome OS notebooks from Acer and Samsung in mid-2011, with Verizon Wireless providing cellular connectivity which comes with 100MB of free data per month for the first two years. According to Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management, CR48 is not and will not be for sale. All Chrome OS devices will be launched and priced by their partners, who will hold their own launch events in the future with more details."
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Google Unveils Beta Chrome OS Notebook

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  • by eaddict (148006) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:19PM (#34479678)

    With all the flavors of Android out there will google do something different to make this hardware can take upgrades?
    Hopefully google will keep Chrome OS in house and not sell it to vendors to cover with their unremovable crap.

    • by grantek (979387) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:22PM (#34479722)

      TFA says there'll be a "jail-breaking mode", so Google have obviously realised they've been hurt by the closed Android platforms

      • Developers can get root by compiling the OS themselves. Normal users using a precompiled OS cannot AFAIK.
      • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @06:22PM (#34480462)

        TFA says there'll be a "jail-breaking mode

        Why should there be a jail in the first place?

        • by agrif (960591)

          Why should there be a jail in the first place?

          Because the technologically-illiterate have come to hear "jailbroken" as meaning "being able to put whatever you want on it", or worse, "being able to put pirated stuff on it", not the original meaning of "removing write protection on the root", or "breaking out of a chroot". Rather like "CPU" became the general term for the big box all the wires plug into.

          I was showing off my iPad one day and mentioned it was jailbroken, and suddenly everyone thought I was a software pirate. No, sorry, just wanted to insta

        • by Waccoon (1186667)

          But, jail is a safe house! Thank goodness people are restricting what I can do, so that malicious reality doesn't get me.

      • by gnapster (1401889)
        Yes, on the Cr-48 there will be a jailbreaking mode. Just like the Nexus One was developer-friendly. When Motorola released the Droid X with its self-destruct feature [zdnet.com], they even said that if someone wanted to root their phone, they should get a Nexus One instead of Motorola's device. Just becuase this prototype – which is released for hacking and beta testing – has a jail-breaking mode, we don't know how consumer-grade products made by a variety of manufacturers might be locked down. I don't
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It will not have the Android model of upgrade, but the Chrome silent upgrade in which every time there is an update it is installed without the user's direct knowledge.

      • It will not have the Android model of upgrade, but the Chrome silent upgrade in which every time there is an update it is installed without the user's direct knowledge.

        Or approval.

    • by Stregano (1285764)
      I was under the impression we could download the OS itself and not just use it on proprietary hardware. If that is the case, if vendors are trying to change it in their favor, then that would be dumb since you could always dump that version and get the version directly from Google. Honestly, anybody on /. is smart enough to google this, but you can technically download the beta right now and use it. If that is possible, then It should not matter what 3rd party companies decide to do when you can seriousl
      • Ya, but it's little more than just a crappy, Google-branded BrowserLinux [browserlinux.com] with a bunch of recommended links put in, taking up about 10-20 times as much hard drive space. I was really looking forward to it when I installed it on my netbook, and was pretty disappointed.
    • by x1n933k (966581)
      The release of a new version in Chrome OS is every 6 weeks. That is the OS alone, not the kernel. Unfortunately, like Android there is too much hardware out there and too many companies playing for standards. It will be up to the company you bought the laptop from to make sure the essentials work properly--in the end it is still up to them to screw your system as well. Acer loads a lot of crap-ware on their PCs, laptops and Notebooks. I expect them to do exactly the same thing with Chrome.
    • So it shouldn't take any time at all to update...

  • It requires jailbreaking, and they said "Native applications are web applications. It's fully possible to do everything that you can do with native technology with web technologies". Which sounds pretty dubious, although it does apparently support NativeClient.

    • Well they said:

      The device also features a jail-breaking mode. It's fully available for you to break into.

      So it will require jailbreaking, but they'll provide the ability to do that. Of course, since they're planning on having other integrators actually produce these machines, it will probably end up like Android-- theoretically open, but by many practical measures the devices are closed.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        Yep, this specific computer is built as specified by Google for use as a test bed of the eventual design specs for the various OEM variants. That the switch is there in this limited production run is not indicative of it being there when the various products start showing up in stores. And as one market area specifically aimed at is office use, i suspect it will not as that would compromise the image of security they are trying to sell.

        • by shawb (16347)
          And once these are out on the market, it could actually reduce attempts at jailbreaking on the commercial offerings. Those who want to play with the system get their hands on a CR48 due to the ease of hacking.
    • by GWBasic (900357)

      It requires jailbreaking, and they said "Native applications are web applications. It's fully possible to do everything that you can do with native technology with web technologies". Which sounds pretty dubious, although it does apparently support NativeClient.

      My guess is that Jailbreaking may be needed for bleeding edge browser plugins.

  • by pyalot (1197273) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:21PM (#34479702)
    A tablet and major JS engine overhaul wasn't enough, on a whim they just threw a notebook into the mix or what?
    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:36PM (#34479908) Journal

      Eric Schmidt: Okay guys. It's time for the choppin' block. Whaddya got for me?

      Tablet Lead: We just announced our tablet today!

      Eric Schmidt: Way to set the bar high! Next! You!

      Chrome Browser Lead: We... err... Overhauled our Javascript Engine! 100% faster! Totally! We'll announce it this afternoon

      Eric Schmidt: Good good! I'd hate to have to fire you. I like you. Next! You there, what good news do you have?

      Notebook Lead: Err... We... uhh. Yeah, we can totally announce our new notebook as well! Definately. It might not be READY till Mid 2011 but we can definately announce it oh god please don't fire me.

      Eric Schmidt: ... *Flips a coin* ... You got lucky this time. Next!

      Search Engine Lead: There's... err... Nothing new to report... Not even a doodle for the main page today... I... I'll go pack my things. It was really nice working here.

      Eric Schmidt: No need, I'll have security escort you out then throw your belongings out the nearest window.

      • by isorox (205688)

        Search Engine Lead: There's... err... Nothing new to report... Not even a doodle for the main page today... I... I'll go pack my things. It was really nice working here.

        Shame, they could turn off instant preview (or allow disabling it without greasemonkey). Remember when google was an awesome fast light search engine?

  • by ahsile (187881) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:21PM (#34479714) Homepage Journal

    Oversized touchpad == Macbook Wheel???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA [youtube.com]

    (Yes this is a joke folks)

  • Black??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harrkev (623093) <kfmsdNO@SPAMharrelsonfamily.org> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:27PM (#34479792) Homepage

    The PICTURES [engadget.com] show it as black. With a name like "chrome," shouldn't it at least be shiny?

    • by entotre (1929174)
      Anything that help people forget the device (including not making it shine) would serve the goal of reducing the barrier between user and web.
      The caps-lock button has been removed [google.com], but in those pictures there is a button in the same spot. Is it a google-button?
      • by rhook (943951)

        Probably, it appears to have the same icon on it as the search button on Android phones.

    • by Art3x (973401)

      The PICTURES [engadget.com] show it as black. With a name like "chrome," shouldn't it at least be shiny?

      No.

  • by grub (11606)

    "CR48"? They should have named it "CR49".
  • by LeftHanded (160472) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:33PM (#34479862) Homepage Journal
    Chromium [wikipedia.org] is 24 on the periodic table of the elements. The element that's 48 is cadmium [wikipedia.org]. Maybe they're going for some sort of esoteric Chromium Chromium == 2 * 24 == 48 kind of thing?
  • by jekewa (751500) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @05:36PM (#34479902) Homepage Journal

    Either they're quick with the invitations, or someone's quick with the phishing. I got an "invite" in the mail before I saw the notice on /. Free notebook...sigh.

  • Buy a netbook and get NOTHING but the web: "feature"
    BUY websites: "feature"

    Please be a joke.
  • 100 megs of cellular data transfer on an internet device? What is it with the magically shrinking data caps these days? Verizon's been hyping LTE for months then cut off it's own nuts with 5 and 10 gig data caps and insane overage charges. AT&T's selling 2 gig plans with their ipads and iphones like that's going to be enough for these media-heavy devices.

    I'm currently testing Clear's 4G service and, while the performance is excellent so far, there is strong evidence that they're throttling heavy user

    • by isorox (205688)

      My typical phone data usage is 100mb/month, tops. Plenty of surfing on the go (like now on the train), little bit of ssh over VPN, plenty of email, but wifi at home and office. Aside from downloading tv shows, I never hit 20gb/month at home. What do you do?

      • Like I said, the only reason I'm pounding Clear's service is because of rumors that they're throttling heavy users and the language they're using when communicating with customers about this topic is identical to the language used by another company that was discovered to have been intentionally reducing performance for "heavy" users. Since the user experience (reduced speed at specific thresholds) and corporate response (deny, deny, deny, obfuscate) looked identical, the only way I can find out the truth

  • I do like is the apparent pay as you go, if the prices are not too high. $10 is ok for the day pass. I wish ATT would let us buy data on a as used basis instead of every month, and pay for even if you did not use the it. I suspect Verizon is going to charge at least $20 for a gigabyte, which would be high but in some ways better than ATT subscription model.
    • by isorox (205688)

      I suspect Verizon is going to charge at least $20 for a gigabyte

      $10/meg on uk o2 when I was recently in Pakistan and China. Hotel and office had wifi so not too bad.

    • I suspect Verizon is going to charge at least $20 for a gigabyte

      Per TFA, aside from the $9.99 day pass, $20/month for 1GB, $35/month for 2 GB, and $50/month for 5GB. Its not pay as you go other than the day pass.

    • Re:pay as you go (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gregrah (1605707) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @06:41AM (#34484848)
      T-Mobile recently came out with their dirt cheap (for an Android phone) "Comet". The phone costs about $150 to buy outright, and you can use it on their pay-as-you-go plan (10 cents per minute calling). A "Web Day Pass" can be purchased* for $1.49, and it gives you unlimited 3G data access for 24 hours on the days that you need it.

      You should also be able to use a nicer, more expensive Android phone on the pay-as-you-go plan, if you don't mind paying $250 or more up front for the phone.

      I've been waiting for a long time for a pricing model like this to come along before purchasing a smart phone. $80 a month (or even $50 a month on some of the cheaper carriers) is just too much for me to pay for a smart phone given how much of my day is spent sitting in front of a desktop computer and land line. I would love to see T-Mobile be successful with with this pricing model, and to see other carriers following suit.


      * Currently T-Mobiles servers are crapping out and you can't actually buy a Web Day Pass. Pretty sloppy - but I assume it's just a temporary problem as they roll out the new system.
  • Will it have USB support? I'm not sure if Google told anything about that? Even if I won't store anything on my computer (I know that's not something this OS is aimed for), I still need to store photos on Flickr and docs on Google Docs. I sure hope you can plug in an USB stick, or an external hard drive via USB, and get access to its files in some sort of file manager? Otherwise it's horrible -- you'd need to use another computer just to get stuff from your mobile phone, etc.

    Also, I doubt Apple will ever su

    • Will it have USB support? I'm not sure if Google told anything about that?

      Per TFA, USB support in Chrome OS is one of the issues that is still being worked on. I presume the Cr-48 hardware will include USB, but I wouldn't expect it to work on day one.

  • coz if it's samsung I'll be stuck for 6 months on an outdated version of teh software :(
  • Too bad the pilot is US only, this device would be perfect for my non-profit!
    • by entotre (1929174)
      I will give you advice:
      1. Install Ubuntu
      2. Install Chrome
      3. Chrome OS equivalent obtained!
      • by MrHanky (141717)

        Not quite. I tried installing Google Talk via the Chrome store today, and it complained that it only supports ChromeOS.

      • That's not really an equivalent to ChromeOS - Ubuntu is capable of running useful programs as well as web apps...
  • by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @06:47PM (#34480724)
    ... why are they not just making the OS free for all? The Hexeh Chromium builds have shown that it can run on a variety of hardware... I don't understand why Google is partnering with device manufacturers instead of just letting this into the wild for everyone...
    • ... why are they not just making the OS free for all? The Hexeh Chromium builds have shown that it can run on a variety of hardware... I don't understand why Google is partnering with device manufacturers instead of just letting this into the wild for everyone...

      Not everyone at Google is smart I suppose.

      • Oh wait, this is Google's Bob. [wikipedia.org] Google figures, it's growing up to be a big important company like Microsoft, it too needs a Bob. A kind of rite of passage.

    • I don't understand why Google is partnering with device manufacturers instead of just letting this into the wild for everyone...

      Google is partnering with device manufacturers because they'd rather not restrict the Chrome OS market to the small slice of people that would replace the OS bundled with their hardware with something else, and because they'd like casual users to have the experience provided by the OS running on hardware designed for Chrome OS rather than tailored for use with some other OS.

      Of cour

    • by yelvington (8169)

      ... why are they not just making the OS free for all? The Hexeh Chromium builds have shown that it can run on a variety of hardware... I don't understand why Google is partnering with device manufacturers instead of just letting this into the wild for everyone...

      The Hexxeh builds show that it is free for all. Problem solved.

      The builds that will come preinstalled will be highly tuned and tightly bound to the particular hardware. That's how they manage to boot so quickly -- there's no probing. See this video (over a year old) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTFfl7AjNfI [youtube.com]

    • by Mabbo (1337229)
      There is Google Chrome OS, and there is Chromium OS. These are separate things, just as Chromium Browser and Google Chrome Browser are separate things. The Chromiums are open source, and you are free to put them on any hardware you like, as Hexxeh has done. If you want to boot up Chromium OS on your desktop, by all means, give it a shot, and document it well so I can do it too!

      Why do this? Because Google doesn't want to put their name to something they don't guarantee to be awesome. They want the less tha

  • I really like this thing, but looking at Google web apps running in a browser looks extremly last century. Google is just *so* desinterested and uninspired with its webapps that it almost hurts.

    • What? Just what about it do you like? It's generic hardware made by... Acer and Samsung ... it's like they took the two worst companies they could find in both products[hardware] and services[support]. I have no idea what the big deal is with those damn click able trackpads either, what's wrong with the tap mode that's been available on every track pad for the last 20 years that I have to physically depress the device? And how about those Verizon data prices? I pay about $20USD for unlimited wireless data a
  • "with Verizon Wireless providing cellular connectivity which comes with 100MB of free data per month for the first two years"

    Surely that can't be right. What can you do with 100 MB?

    Not even Verizon can be that cheap..

    • Surely that can't be right. What can you do with 100 MB?

      If you are usually using it places with WiFi connectivity and only occasionally need access over 3G, probably enough to satisfy many users (or at least to make the 100MB monthly free usage + 1-2 $9.99 unlimited day passes a better deal than the $20-50 2-5GB monthly plans.)

      If almost all of your use is out of WiFi coverage, you'll probably want a higher limit than the free plan.

    • 100MB isn't there to be useful, it's there to persuade you to buy more data. Mind you, it has WiFi, so if you only use it outside WiFi range occasionally it's probably not so bad.
  • But does it run...android?
  • That only gives me one year to fully enjoy it before the end of the world.

  • Google have done the right thing and not rushed out Chrome OS in time for Christmas, unlike the disastrous Vista. But will Chrome OS enabled netbooks have a sticker on the box saying "you must be connected to the internet to use this machine"?
  • I'd like to try it out. Hmm, no .img on http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os [chromium.org] . There's a Hexxeh blogging about it at http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/ [hexxeh.net] , but the most recent build from his "bleeding edge, untested!" series at http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/vanilla.php [hexxeh.net] is "Version 0.8.71.rdb7d4e77, built on 28th of October 2010."

  • I am hoping Google will send me one. Given the fact that 99% of my business is web-based, I want to see just what they've got to offer.

    If it's good for my business, you can almost guarantee I'll be making a quick run to my investors and telling them to get one for themselves.

  • Beside web apps being some 5 years away from being able to reliable replace traditional desktop applications would be them moving away from using URLs to access web content and forcing users to access it through that "web app store" instead.

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