Chinese vendors gearing up for launch
July, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that the first
netbooks running Google's Chrome operating system should appear by the
end of the year. However, we weren't expecting them in October, and if
Shanzai.com's sources are right, the first Chrome netbooks should
launch within weeks.
Chinese netbook makers are reportedly developing affordable, sub-$200
netbooks powered by MIPS-based Loongson CPUs. Of course, you shouldn't
expect these devices to ship worldwide, and they'll probably only be
available in select Asian markets. In spite of that, this is rather big
news, as it seems Google's is making headway on the new OS and it
should appear in other designs quite soon.
It's long been rumoured that Acer and HP will be among the first major
PC makers to adopt the new OS, but it's really no surprise that smaller
companies will ship some devices ahead of them.
The introduction of Windows 7 in a few weeks, as well as Intel's launch
of next gen Atom CPUs in late Q4, could create a bit more room for
cheaper, simpler alternatives to increasingly costly Wintel netbooks. By alternatives, we mean
dirt cheap smartbooks, powered by non-x86 chips and open operating systems, such
as Chrome OS.