Google Laptop to Challenge Microsoft

By Cindy Waxer December 08, 2010

Tech execs now have an inkling of how Google’s first laptop operates after being treated to a sneak peak in San Francisco this week. The device runs on the company’s Chrome operating system, a cost-effective, Internet-centric alternative to the age-old PC that could pose a threat to Microsoft’s market share.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google’s laptops will be manufactured by Acer, Inc., and Samsung Electronics. Consumer versions of the notebook will go on sale by the middle of next year.

Delays have already caused Google to miss out on the lucrative holiday shopping season. The company has fallen six months behind its target completion date due to technical glitches. In the past, Google announced that its laptops would hit shelves by the end of 2010.

The laptop market isn’t the only new industry Google is attempting to penetrate. This week, the company launched an electronic bookstore, which allows users to purchase and read e-books from any device that is equipped with a modern Web browser, including smartphones, tablet devices and laptops. It’s a service that could trample on territory currently enjoyed by the likes of Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Here’s how it works: Users purchase e-books directly from Google, or from independent bookstores and other licensed retailers. After buying an e-book from any of these sources, consumers can access their online library through their Google account and can read e-books from nearly any device. Google’s preliminary catalog of e-books includes works from most of the major publishers, including Simon and Schuster, Penguin, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan.

Let’s hope Google’s laptops catch on faster than the company’s TV platform. Less than a month after its launch, Sony slashed the price of its Google TV platform by an eye-popping 25 percent over the holiday shopping weekend. Sony reduced its 46-inch Google TV to $1,000 from $1,200 and its 40-inch set for $898 down from $1,000. Sony has never before cut prices on a new product, the Post points out.

Google TV has had a rough go. Earlier this month, News Corp., opted to block Google TV devices from accessing full-length episodes of its TV shows when searched from Google TV’s Web browser. News Corp., joins a growing list of major broadcasters including ABC, CBS and NBC that have decided to block access.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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