Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Google’s Chrome OS might find a home on a $200 netbook from Asus, which could save the operating system from irrelevance.But Asus might choose Android instead. If Chrome can’t even beat Android at the low end of the netbook market, then its future looks really bleak.
According to Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, Asus is teaming up with Intel to launch a new netbook in June. The price will be between $200 and $250. The cheapest netbooks available today start around $300.
If the devices run Chrome, that could give the operating system a niche at the very low end of the PC market. Verizon has already agreed to bundle cheap wireless Internet access plans with every Chrome notebook.
But the report says that the cheap Asus netbooks might run Android instead. That matches a statement from Asus CEO Jerry Shen, who recently said that Asus was going to ship Android netbooks this year.
Even Google may be having second thoughts about Chrome OS. The company recently closed its Chrome OS pilot program and stopped shipping the Cr-48, its test Chrome notebook, and Chrome was not named among the company’s top priorities for 2011. Google recently offered $20,000 to anybody who could hack the Chrome Web browser, but left Chrome OS out of the competition.
At Google’s Chrome launch event in December, hardware partners Samsung and Acer said they would ship Chrome notebooks in 2011, but neither company has announced any specifics since then.
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