Hot on the heels of the Google branded Nexus One Android phone it’s leaking out that Google may be making another move into the hardware arena and launching a Google Netbook in time for the 2010 Holidays.
According to several sources including TechCrunch and PC World, Google has gone beyond simply working with companies like Acer, who expects to be the first to launch a netbook running Chrome OS, and is actively working on creating a Google Netbook in order to better compete with Apple.
Specifically PC World points out that, “By developing hardware that is specifically designed to maximize the potential that Android and/or the Chrome operating system are capable of, Google can manage the user experience and help ensure the success of those platforms.” We can only hope that this desire to closely control the user experience doesn’t lead to an Apple-like tight grip on all aspects of the netbook. At the very least we won’t have to deal with Steve Job’s hatred of buttons.
So far no detailed specs are known though TechCrunch claims that Google has submitted a detailed request for proposal to at least one manufacturer. Arrington, no stranger to speculating, ponders whether a Google Branded netbook would run on an Intel processor or skip it in favor of an ARM CPU; a move that would leave Intel on the wrong end of a Google movement.
For consumers it’s hard to tell exactly what this will mean; with many manufacturers’ reportedly already working on a Google Chrome powered netbook for 2010 there will be more options than the official Google netbook which should lead to different features and prices. If you have been looking at getting a netbook this month you should likely take the plunge; a year is a long time to wait and netbooks are cheap enough that if you sell a year old netbook next year you should still got your money’s worth. That and the fact that you can run Chrome OS on many netbooks right now!