updated 03:00 pm EST, Mon November 22, 2010
No Chrome OS devices shipping in 2010
Google in a statement today said that no hardware would ship using Chrome OS in 2010. Although it made promises as late as September that it was on schedule to have devices in the fall, the company has said finished devices wouldn't appear for the "next few months." There would be "more details to share" within a few weeks, a spokesperson told eWeek.
The delay is a potentially major setback for Google as it undermines the attempt to foster a second platform at Google beyond Android. It has positioned Chrome OS as its platform for traditional computers but with a strong emphasis on cloud computing. With the exception of some basic local file and media viewing, every app must be based on the web and runs in a Chrome browser that forms the core of the OS.
Acer, ASUS and another of familiar netbook manufacturers had teased future designs for Chrome OS and could potentially charge less than for a regular netbook. Without the need for offline apps, a netbook using Chrome OS can use just an 8GB SSD and both save money as well as boot almost instantly.
Chrome OS is now arriving well after analysts and even Microsoft executives had begun seeing tablet cannibalization of netbooks, led mostly by the iPad. An arbitrary set of limitations around netbook specs along with mostly unchanged performance have left customers either holding off or buying tablets instead.