Morning Headlines: Chrome, MobileMe, Google eBooks

→ by Lalawag < @lalawag >
at 11:37am Dec 8, 2010

Google launches Chrome OS operating system

Google has announced a new operating system that may just give Windows and Linux a run for their money.

Set to be launched as a trial program that users can register for online, Chrome OS will eventually be available pre-installed on a range of computers from major manufacturers such as Acer and Samsung.

In the pilot program Google will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses in the U.S. and will later on expand to other countries once they get the necessary certifications.

(Interested? Anyone can sign up here, but be prepared to use it as your primary notebook and provide feedback)

The test notebooks, according to Google’s Linus Upson and Sundar Pichai in the Google Chrome blog, exist only to test the software. They are black, without branding, logos, and stickers. But they do have 12.1 inch screens, full-sized keyboards and touch pads, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time.

Computers running Google’s Chrome Operating system are not slated to ship to consumers until the second half of 2011.

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MobileMe improvements coming in 2011

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reportedly promised significant improvements to MobileMe in 2011 in a reply to an email from a disgruntled customer.

Apple’s MobileMe service has suffered of late with subscribers complaining about the $99 annual list price for the service being too high, especially after Apple made the Find My iPhone service free to use for devices running iOS 4.2.

Other reported problems experienced by MobileMe customers include performance and access issues dating all the way back to the service’s debut in mid-2008 when Apple transitioned from the former .Mac service as well as issues with syncing data among devices and integrating that data from the various devices into combined databases for syncing.

Jobs has reportedly replied to the dissatisfied customer saying that MobileMe will “get a lot better in 2011″.

Experts speculate that MobileMe may see an overhaul of its iDisk or Gallery services when Apple begins to use its new 500,000-square-foot data center in Maiden, N.C., scheduled to begin operations “by the end of this year.”

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Analysts: Google eBooks could open doors for ad-supported media cloud

Analysts from Gartner and Forrester Research predict that Google eBooks, Google TV and perhaps even Google Music could form the bedrock of a great, ad-supported media cloud.

Google eBooks and its corresponding eBookstore launched December 6 to allow consumers to search for and access more than 2 million public domain books for free, as well as purchase any of hundreds of thousands of titles from 4,000-plus publishers.

Now analysts believe that Google’s service chould shake up the Amazon led eBooks market if Google chooses to create an ad-supported media cloud storefront where consumers procure TV, books, and eventually music.

Gartner analyst Allen Weiner believes Google’s eBooks model is a big deal because it creates a gateway to make the company the first true “media in the cloud” provider.

Paired with Google TV’s ability to let users consume Netflix and other Web apps from their TVs, Weiner envisions Google possessing a powerful advertising platform to wield againt Amazon, Apple and other Web-delivered media.

Google eBooks Product Management Director Scott Dougall, however, has denied via eWEEK that Google has plans to run ads with eBooks.

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About the Author: Lalawag

@lalawag •

lalawag is a leading source for tech, new media, and entertainment news and content. Like the businesses we cover, we work crazy hours and use our access to bring you the best business & lifestyle features, news, reviews, and profiles.