Microsoft’s worst nightmare used to be a world where the media tablet category got so hot that it ate into PC sales. That nightmare is no longer a nightmare, however, because it has become a reality. Taking its place, then, is a world where computers powered by Google’s Chrome OS are just as capable and versatile as Windows computers. Unfortunately for the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant, that nightmare has become a reality as well. More →
It is beginning to look like LG might reveal a set of its own Chrome OS devices in the near future. On Monday, TMWatch discovered three trademarks filed by LG earlier this month, each of which carries a Chrome-related moniker: “ChromeOne,” “ChromeDesk” and “ChromeStation.” Chrome OS LG devices were hinted at last year when LG signed a patent agreement with Microsoft, but this is the first official documentation of actual hardware being developed. There is no other indication as to what products these trademarks might actually turn into — each was filed in International Class 009, which can cover computers, tablets, mobile phones, DVD players, and even car speakers. Perhaps we will hear more when Google officially outs the Nexus 5 later this year.
AMD plans to expand its line of processors to support both Android and Chrome OS. AMD senior vice president and general manager of global business units Lisa Su confirmed in an interview with PC World that the company plans to design chips based on both x86 and ARM architecture. The executive noted that while AMD is still “very committed to Windows 8,” which it calls “a great operating system,” the company also sees a market for Android and Chrome OS. Su did not reveal when we can expect AMD-based Android tablets to reach the market, only noting that the company is working with developers to build Android applications that are compatible with AMD chips. Adoption of Windows 8, or lack thereof, and slowing PC sales have hurt AMD in the recent years — so turning to Android and Chrome OS is seen as a way to hedge its Windows bet.
A handful of companies are said to be preparing new Chromebook models that will launch later this year. According to a report from Digitimes, both Acer and ASUS are optimistic about the long-term prospects of Google’s Chromebooks and are working on low-priced computers that will debut in the second half of 2013. Acer is reportedly planning to target students with a new 11.6-inch model to be released in July, while new Chrome OS-powered computers are expected from ASUS, HP, Samsung and Lenovo later this year. Of note, ASUS never planned to enter the market but has apparently rethought its strategy. Google is also said to be working with ASUS, Acer, HP and Samsung on so-called “Androidbooks” that could debut in the near future.
ZTE has come to an agreement with Microsoft to license the company’s technology that is being borrowed in the Android and Chrome operating systems. Microsoft has signed licensing deals with more than 20 other manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and LG. In fact, the company claims that 80% of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. and a majority of those sold throughout the world are now covered under its various agreements. Of course, there are still some companies — most notably, Google’s Motorola Mobility — that have not yet come to terms with Microsoft. More →
When Google (GOOG) announced that Android boss Andy Rubin was stepping down and being replaced by Chrome head Sundar Pichai, speculation erupted suggesting that Android and Chrome OS would eventually merge. According to Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, combining the two operating systems is not currently part of the company’s plans. Schmidt did confirm to Reuters that there will be more “commonality” between its mobile and desktop platforms moving forward, but they will remain separate operating systems. The executive also dispelled rumors that he might be leaving Google.
Apple (AAPL) has iMessage, BlackBerry (BBRY) has BlackBerry Messenger and Google (GOOG) will reportedly soon have Babble. According to a report from Geek, Google is interested in unifying its messaging platforms into a single service. The company currently has a number of messaging services across different platforms such as Google Talk, Hangout, Google Voice, Messenger and more. Google is now said to be building Babble from the ground up to bring all of its services across Android, Chrome OS, Windows and Mac together. No timeframe has been revealed, but the company is expected to announce the service at its annual Google I/O conference in May.
Google (GOOG) offered hackers a chance at a big pay day if they could crack its Chrome OS platform. The company held its annual Pwnium competition at the ConSecWest security conference in Vancouver this week where it put $3.14159 million up for grabs. While a number of hackers attempted to get a piece of the Pi, a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement to TechCrunch that none of them succeeded in fully cracking the operating system. The company did reveal, however, that it is “evaluating some work that may qualify as partial credit.” Google is making a big push to boost consumer interest in Chrome OS. The company recently released the high-end Chromebook Pixel to compete directly with the Retina display Macbook Pro.
A Google (GOOG) executive revealed that Motorola’s current line of devices don’t include anything that would “wow” consumers. Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference on Thursday, Google’s chief financial officer Patrick Pichette said the company inherited a pipeline of unimpressive products, at least by Google’s standards. More →
Executives at Acer (2353) have had some harsh words for Microsoft (MSFT) regarding its Windows 8 operating system. CEO JT Wang was fuming after the software giant unveiled its Surface tablet and even issued a warning to the company, while other executives have blamed Microsoft for confusing would-be Windows 8 buyers. President Jim Wong said in an interview with Bloomberg on Monday that Windows 8 has not been successful and the company has explored alternatives to increase revenue, such as Google’s (GOOG) Chrome OS. More →
The always-eagle-eyed PatentBolt has spotted a new patent application from Google (GOOG) that indicates the company is designing a way to bring radial menus to its Android and Chrome devices. From the initial designs, it looks as though the radial menus will not be visible on the screen until a user makes a swipe gesture from the edge of a device. Once the swipe is made, a semicircle menu pops up in the section of the screen where the swipe was made. The logic behind the semicircle menu is to save screen real estate and give users a simpler way to access different features of their applications. If Google is looking to dodge bullets with its new design, however, it may be out of luck: As PatentBolt notes that Apple (AAPL) has filed two patents for similar technology over the past couple of years. More →
Users who are interested in a Google-powered Chromebook only have two options, Acer’s AC700 or Samsung’s Series 5 Chromebook. Both laptops are powered by an Intel Atom processor, the only chip the platform currently supports. Recent rumors have suggest that Chrome OS may soon support ARM-based processors, however, opening up a number of new doors for the platform. According to the Chromium OS issue tracker, a new product code-named “Daisy” is mentioned numerous times, equipped a Samsung Exynos 5250 chip. Samsung’s 32nm chip will feature an ARM Cortex-A15 design and will be capable of running at speeds up to 2GHz — all while using less power than ARM Cortex-A9 chips and Intel Atom processors. The Chromium project is open-source, with user contributions playing a large roll in development. As such, the “Daisy” appearances do not necessarily mean Google is directly involved with the development.
Microsoft and LG have signed a patent agreement that covers LG’s tablets, mobile phones, and other consumer devices running Android or Chrome OS. Terms of the deal between the two companies have not being disclosed. However, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has targeted an Android vendor, previously signing deals with Samsung, HTC, and Acer, among others. “Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS.” Each vendor who signs a deal with the Redmond-based company pays an undisclosed licensing fee for using Microsoft’s patents, which Android and Chrome OS reportedly infringe upon. However, not every company is giving in, with Motorola and Barnes & Noble currently involved in a lengthy patent battle with Microsoft. Read on for the press release.