The day Google demoed Chrome OS for the first time, Brad and I had an interesting back-and-forth discussion about it. One of the things I was curious about was whether or not Google might offer Chrome OS hardware at heavily subsidized prices – or even free.
Over at Linux Journal, Glyn Moody wonders the same thing. Moody points out that hardware costs for Chrome OS netbooks will be minimal, due in no small part to Chrome’s light requirements. An 8GB SSD, 1 or 2GB of DDR2 memory, and an ARM processor will be plenty. And since we know a standard netbook with Windows can retail for as little as $190 brand new, it’s not hard to see that Google could very well plan on giving away Chromebooks.
Why would they?
Let’s not forget what Google’s core business is: advertising. However innovative and exciting the new software Google develops is, the tie-in to their AdSense platform is never too far below the surface. The same is true with Chrome OS, where Google will have a captive audience of users running their browser and using their services. It’s win, win, win for Big G.
Moody wonders if you’d be willing to put up with Google’s advertising agenda in exchange for a Chromebook. I’m willing to bet that thousands – if not millions – of Americans would gladly say yes to a free or dirt cheap secondary / web surfing laptop. Next stop, the world – and advertising Nirvana for Google.