According to reports from Asia, Google will release an ARM-based ChomeOS laptop in limited numbers in time for the holidays.
The details are short but Taiwan-based Digitimes reports Google's (GOOG) first Chrome laptops will be self-branded and are en route to the U.S. as we speak. Digitimes anticipates a November announcement and a small allotment of Google netbooks to be available for the holidays, similar to how Google distributed the Nexus One smartphone.
Google's Chrome notebook is expected to be manufactured by Inventec with initial shipments to reach 60,000-70,000 units. The Google Chrome notebook will feature an ARM-based platform and will not be selling through retail channels.
Interestingly, Google is going with an ARM-based platform rather than Intel (INTC), if the report is correct. That would mean the world's largest chipmaker, and GoogleTV partner, should be up in arms (har).
If ChromeOS on ARM gains traction, there could be a huge downside for the Intel monopoly that has dominated the PC landscape for the past two decades.
Digitimes also says that HP (HPQ) and Acer, two of Microsoft's (MSFT) biggest customers, will have a limited launch of ChromeOS netbooks for the holidays. Both vendors will use Quanta Computer for manufacturing. I expect their announcement later this month. I'd also expect Dell (DELL) to participate in the announcement but the Round Rock Texas-based company was not mentioned in the report. Dell has previously acknowledged plans to test Google OS (and has been caught lurking in the Chrome code). More
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