updated 09:15 am EDT, Mon June 21, 2010
Dell veers from Microsoft with Chrome OS deal talk
Dell today confirmed that it's talking to Google to implement Chrome OS on netbooks. The company's president of Greater China and South Asia Amit Midha didn't have any firm unveilings to make but confirmed devices were in development. References in the code have already confirmed Dell development, along with Acer and HP, suggesting Dell could be part of the first wave near the end of the year.
Adopting Chrome OS would be a wound for Microsoft. Dell already uses Ubuntu Linux on a handful of netbooks, but the new platform would give it a higher-profile OS and one that could help further reduce the price of a Mini netbook. Chrome OS needs SSD storage but, as it has a very small footprint and depends on web apps, can use drives that are cheaper than conventional hard drives. Similarly, it uses less memory as nearly every task occurs within just one app.
Midha justified the leap to Google as part of a move into a new phase of computing. "There are going to be unique innovations coming up in the marketplace in two, three years, with a new form of computing, we want to be on that forefront," he told Reuters. "So with Chrome or Android or anything like that we want to be one of the leaders."
The executive also hinted at more China-native Android phones and said a phone with 3G for China Mobile's native TD-SCDMA format would arrive later this year.