Acer have thrown their hat into the ring as one of the first netbook manufacturers to commit to using Google Chrome OS. According to DigiTimes’ usual unnamed sources, the company have been working on the netbook – which will only run webapps, and make heavy use of cloud-based storage – since midway through 2009; it’s expected to launch in the second half of 2010.
Normally we’d nod and smile at this point, and remain moderately sceptical, but Acer chairman JT Wang has already publicly suggested that his company will be putting out a Chrome OS machine. No specifications for the Acer netbook have been given, but Google’s recent launch event for the platform did outline that typical Chrome OS netbooks would have SSD or flash memory storage, be either x86 or ARM based, and have the usual USB ports for peripherals.
While Google Chrome OS is based on an open-source Linux kernel as with other builds we’ve seen on netbooks, it differentiates itself by keeping all of the action in the browser. Thanks to the growing strength of webapps – and Google’s own work on giving them access to graphics acceleration and other hardware components that usually only standalone software has – Chrome OS has the potential to be a more secure, more stable platform particularly suited to those users who do little more than browse the internet, IM and email.