Google plans to launch its Chrome Operating System for netbooks later this year. The OS is built around a web browser, and the idea is that you’ll be able to boot your netbook and get online quickly to read news, watch videos, and interact with web-based applications for editing documents or pictures, or even video chat.
We’ve known that much for months. But speaking at an event recently, Google CEO Eric Schmidt let a few more details drop… or rather, a few hopes. Thing is, while there have been rumors about a “Google Netbook” or a “Google Tablet,” the company hasn’t officially committed to building any hardware. Instead, Google will license the operating system to hardware makers who really get to set the prices.
That said, Schmidt says he expects netbooks running Chrome OS to sell for about $300 to $400, which is about the same price as most netbooks currently on the market. While Google will be offering Chrome OS for free, that actually doesn’t provide that much of a cost saving, since Microsoft licenses Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks at a pretty low price. The rest of the cost of a netbook comes from components including the CPU, display, memory, storage, and other components… plus some markup of course. Nobody wants to sell netbooks at cost or at a loss.
So the question is… if a Chrome OS netbook is going to run about the same price as a Windows netbook, is there any reason why you’d prefer a netbook that basically runs a browser-based OS over one that runs a desktop operating system and gives you the option of running the Google Chrome browser on top of it?
via Netbook Choice