Cloud Computing | Mobile | Technology

Google Unveils First Chromebook Laptops

At the Google I/O conference on Wednesday, Google introduced the first Chrome OS-based laptops named Chromebooks. The two devices will come from the search giant’s partners Samsung and Acer and, as Google claims, they won’t be anything like your typical notebook.

The cloud-based Chrome OS runs web-based applications only, and with most of its software running in the cloud, Chromebooks boot in matter of seconds and resume instantly. Software updates will be automatically rolled out to Chromebooks which are designed to get faster with each update. The devices have a long battery life and will last a whole day on a single charge. Chromebooks support HTML5 and Adobe’s Flash Player.

Built-in Wi-Fi and 3G make it easy to get connected while on the go. 3G is optional and models include 100 MB per month of mobile data from Verizon Wireless free of charge. Because users’ apps and docs are stored in the cloud they can be accessed anytime from anywhere eliminating the need to back up files. There is also no need to purchase and install anti-virus software as Google claims the devices have many levels of security built in.

According to the Chromebook features page the devices “employ the principle of “defense in depth” to provide multiple layers of protection, including sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot.”

The Chromebooks will launch in the U.S. June 15th and will be available from Amazon.com and Bestbuy.com. At the same tome Google’s Chrome OS-based laptops will become available in other countries including UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Google has also announced Chromebooks for Business and Education program under which the search company will make the devices, along with a cloud management console, full updates and support, warranty and replacements, available to schools and businesses for a monthly fee.

Monthly subscriptions for schools will start at $20 for each device and $28 per user for businesses.

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