Earlier today we received a tip to check out the blog Chrome OS Site for the details on the first official Chrome OS device. Obviously intrigued, I clicked through. There, I read about not a notebook or netbook running the OS, but rather a monitor! Specifically, the report has Acer supposedly unveiling this “monitor”, or perhaps all-in-one PC, called the DX241H, as the first actual Chrome OS device. Several other reports along these lines followed.
Weird, right? Well yes. Because from what we’re hearing, that’s just not true at all.
Here’s the thing, Chrome OS Site’s report points to a German site, heise online, which claims that Acer announced this device with Chrome OS support. But the odd thing is that Acer is an official Google partner on Chrome OS devices. And from what we’re hearing, the search giant doesn’t know a thing about such a device.
While initially viewed as a potential “netbook” OS, Google quickly altered the wording around Chrome OS to make it clear that it was intended for notebooks. (At least at first.) The fact that Cr-48, the test device Google launched late last year, is a notebook speaks to this. From what we’re hearing, Google is still very much committed to getting Chrome OS out there as a notebook OS at some point in the middle of this year. And yes, that will be with partners like Acer.
Having said that, the code behind Chrome OS, Chromium OS, is open source. And developers are free to do with it what they wish. But again, Acer is a Google partner on Chrome OS, so it’s very unlikely that they’d think about going around the company to make some sort of all-in-one iMac-like PC on their own.
Google has been thinking about how they can expand Chrome OS beyond notebooks, to devices like tablets, and potentially even PCs eventually. But the first crucial step is to take on the notebook market. And they can’t do that if partners are off making odd monitors/all-in-one devices aimed at a completely different market.
Long story short: the first official Chrome OS device will not be a monitor or an all-in-one PC. It will be a notebook. And it will launch in the middle of 2011.