Photo: Matt Rosoff
Google has stopped sending out the Cr-48, the test notebook running the Chrome OS, supposedly in anticipation of real Chrome notebooks shipping later this year.But neither of Google’s hardware partners has announced a notebook or any more details since Google introduced Chrome OS in December, and Chrome was not named as one of Google’s top four priorities for 2011 on its last earnings call — unlike its other mobile operating system, Android.
These Chrome notebooks generated a lot of excitement, as they were the first chance for outsiders to see how Chrome worked. But the hardware was pretty clunky — in particular, the trackpad didn’t work very well — and was meant only to test the software.
The software itself is basically the Chrome browser expanded to become the entire operating system. That means the notebooks start much faster and are more efficient than Windows or Mac OS X.
That might have seemed like a smart idea several years ago when netbooks were rising, but since then tablets have replaced a lot of netbook sales, and Google already has a great mobile OS for tablets — Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
Still, Google is plugging along with Chrome OS for now. Earlier this month, Google released a major update that fixed the trackpad issue on the Cr-48 and some other bugs.
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