The first time Google handed out free Chromebooks, the computers hadn’t even been given a retail-friendly name yet. The Cr-48 was shipped off to select members of the technology press corps and later to enthusiasts who registered via the Web to join the Pilot Program. Google’s goal: to get the Cr-48 deployed to a group of test users outside Mountain View and collect usage data and first impressions — and to squash bugs as they surfaced in the real world.

Chrome OS is, after all, a rather big deal to Google, and the tires needed to be sufficiently kicked before helping OEM partners like Samsung and Acer launch their first laptops with the nascent OS. Now that initial third-party Chromebooks are shipping, Google has decided it’s time to give something back to Pilot Program testers who went above and beyond.

Over on Google Groups, several users have reported receiving an email inviting them to the Chrome OS guru program. To say thanks for their enthusiasm, feedback, and support for Google’s vision for Chrome OS those chosen will be receiving a brand new Chromebook. The hope is that these influencers will continue evangelizing Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and Google to friends and family and drive additional converts to the platform.

Those of you who applied for the program previously and got shut out… try not to harbor any even bigger grudge against these folks now that they can dual-wield their free Chrome OS notebooks, mmkay?

via Chrome OS Site

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