Google Notebooks Come With Verizon 3G

SAN FRANCISCO -- Notebook computers using Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Chrome operating system, which are being shown off for the first time today, will come with Verizon 3G connectivity, the company says.

It's a surprising addition to the highly anticipated unveiling of devices using the new OS. Google announced the computers and features of the OS at a media event at Dogpatch Studios, which sits in a hip, Web 2.0-heavy neighborhood of the city.

Initial notebooks using the Chrome OS will come from Acer Inc. and Samsung Corp. in mid-2011. Google will give out beta pilot ones until then. No word yet on when Chrome will arrive on tablets and other devices.

The Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) connectivity is optional to activate, but it's available without a contract at plans that start "from $9.99." (That was on a PowerPoint slide; Google didn't specify what you get for that money.)

The 3G connectivity will be sold on a pay-as-you-go basis, said Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management. Users will get 100MB of free data usage every month for two years; Google's presentation, still ongoing at press time, hadn't yet specified what happens beyond those limits. (Google hadn't even mentioned the price of the computers yet!)

Of course, Verizon makes sense as a cellular partner. The company and Google have settled many of their differences and put forth a set of (highly criticized) suggestions for US broadband policy, as well as working closely together on Android smartphones. (See Verizon & Google Define an 'Open Internet'.)

Google's Chrome OS is an open-source operating system designed for a world where, for many users, the Web has basically become the computer. Pichai pointed out that since about 2004 it's hard to identify any non-Web application that's scaled to millions of users.

Like the Chrome browser, the OS is built for speed. Google boasted that initial setup takes less than 60 seconds. The computer also recovers from standby mode almost instantly.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:16:30 PM
re: Google Notebooks Come With Verizon 3G

Chrome is all about the web, but there will be apps too - 500 of them at launch in the Chrome Web Store, Google says.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:16:26 PM
re: Google Notebooks Come With Verizon 3G

Yes, the app store is impressive. (Not mobile-accessible, IIRC, but that kind of makes sense. For now, Chrome is pointed at the laptop world, and Android at handhelds.)

The Verizon bundle seems like a pretty good idea, especially since it comes without a contract. They hedged on whether it would be extended to LTE, given that the notebooks won't appear til 2011 (I doubt it, though; that would increase the cost).  I also wasn't clear on whether they'll be able to offer other carriers' service later on.

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