Today at this morning’s major Chrome event, Google has just announced that Chrome OS… isn’t done. It still has work to do with camera drivers (for notebook USB ports), finishing Google Cloud Print, and more. But it wants to get the notebook into early adopters’ hands, so it’s announcing a new Pilot Program. Google will be distributing a notebook called Cr-48. These are not for sale, they are designed as a test unit.
Consumers will be able to apply for this, however, but Google isn’t giving it away to just anyone. On its Facebook Fan Page, they ran a promotion a couple days, announcing a sticker for a Chrome laptop, if you did that quiz, you have a chance of winning a notebook. If you go to youtube.com/googlechrome and make a video showing why you’re an ideal candidate for this, you’ll have a chance to snag a notebook. And everyone in the audience at today’s event is getting one (everyone claps). And if you don’t fall into any of those buckets, you can go to this page to apply.
The CR-48 is supposed to boot in 10 seconds, includes a webcam, and 12-inch LCD display. It is 3.8 pounds with 8 hours of battery life and an entire week of standby time, according to Google’s marketing materials. Eventually, manufacturing partners will make Chromebooks you can actually buy in stores.
Google will also be deploying this to some partner businesses, including American Airlines, Kraft, Virgin America, the Department of Defense and more.
Google Chrome OS is an open source PC operating system. The operating system is based on Linux and runs only on specifically designed hardware. The OS relies heavily on cloud-based applications, and the user interface will be similar to the Google Chrome browser. As announced on July 7, 2009, the operating system is open source and targeted at netbooks. On June 15, 2011, the first Chrome OS-powered devices, known as Chromebooks, were released.