Chrome OS Tablet or Netbook – Analysis
There have long been rumours regarding the possibility of Google releasing a Chrome OS powered tablet device. These rumours have arguably been spurred on by leaked tablet mock-ups and more so, wishful thinking; buoyed by an emerging tablet craze.
It is easy to understand why the market craves a Chrome OS powered tablet. After all Apple has sold millions of Ipads unabated for the last few months. Hence it is more than natural for consumers to dream of viable and cheaper alternatives to the Ipad.
Benefits of introducing a Chrome OS powered tablet
The benefits of introducing a Chrome OS tablet to the market are foreseeable. Due to the explosive growth of this market it is feasible that Google could get an early foothold. This can then enable exponential growth in the usage of it’s upcoming operating system.
It may also be in Google’s interest to not only piggy back on the growth of the tablet market but ‘ride the crest of the wave’ as they are doing with Android OS in smart phones until the eventual maturity of this market.
The netbook route
Earlier on this year Eric Schmidt made an unsuccessful attempt to put Chrome OS tablet rumours to rest by declaring that Google will only focus on the netbook market. Despite this as mentioned above many actions by Google have since pointed to the contrary. Recently Google added touch capabilities to Chromium OS and other features that are generally attributed to tablet devices. More so the rumour that Google is working with HTC to release a tablet device in time for ‘Black Friday’ in the USA (27th of November) have further fuelled speculation.
Nonetheless what we are more interested in is whether Google will ‘really’ take the netbook route rather than clandestinely planning on releasing a Chrome OS powered tablet.
Benefits of introducing a Chrome OS powered netbook
Indeed it is true that the netbook market has begun to hit a peak. A few years ago netbooks were earmarked to eclipse laptop and desktop sales. A lot of companies jumped onto the gravy train, releasing innumerable variations of the atom-powered devices with little variation in specifications.
Google now aims to enter this market by supplying their operating system in place of the traditional Windows 7 netbooks. This has the potential to reignite the explosive sales of netbooks so that rather than Google competing with Apple on it’s own turf (tablet market), they can spearhead their Operating system to become the leader in the netbook market.
In essence what we can then witness is a war between the tablet market and the netbook market. Such a scenario would benefit Google because they may avoid the atrophy of fighting a heavily entrenched Apple.
More so, Google will face less stiff competition in the netbook market. The current generation of Windows and Linux based netbooks has become a bore to the consumer. Lacklustre hardware specifications and cheap build quality are all opportune areas for Google to make major improvements.
It seems obvious to me that if Google is to succeed in it’s launch of Chrome OS, there is a need to avoid head on competition with products such as the Ipad. It is even more prudent to avoid competing with the new breed of Android powered tablets (e.g. the Samsung Galaxy Tab) as this would nothing less than cannibalistic. Hence the only fertile ground is the netbook market; this is where Chrome OS can make an entry as a viable operating system.
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