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Google planning own-brand Windows-less PC

     
2:39 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sources say Google has been in negotiations with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., among other retailers, to sell a Google PC. The machine would run an operating system created by Google, not Microsoft's Windows, which is one reason it would be so cheap perhaps as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

LATimes [latimes.com]

2:43 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i haven't read in detail but this was due since few time from google.
2:45 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow. If true, that would mean that Google just made serious competitors/enemies of:

Michael Dell, Ted Wait, IBM. (chip makers), Hewlett Packard, and every local mom-n-pop computer shop in the world.

2:51 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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IBM

Not really. Corporate only.

Most home users aren't going around buying Thinkpads, and I don't think Google's going to immediately develop the support channel that IBM/Lenovo has.

2:55 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If true, that would mean that Google just made serious competitors/enemies

They should have strategy for them if true.

2:59 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A lot of smart people have gotten their comeuppance in the PC market, but Google stands a fair chance of making it go. They've got great branding, which will help overcome the "where's Windows?" fears.

Kind of interesting - with all the speculation about the Google Operating System, who expected them to offer the hardware to run it on?

The more they can make the thing into a dumb terminal used to access Web applications, the better. Support infrastructure has been the undoing of many hardware/software firms. To the extent that the box itself does relatively little, support costs will be minimized.

2:59 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Brett - Why did you leave out MS and Apple?
3:02 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> Brett - Why did you leave out MS and Apple?

They already are enemies. It is one thing to be a software enemy - hardware enemy is fresh ground. Unless it is being built by Dell or another big manufacturer?

If cringely is right - Google needs cheap PCs for their "alternative" internet.

3:06 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Putting together a new operating system is no small task and doing it inexpensively is an even greater task.

There are security issues, customer support and hardware compatibility problems. It's hard to explain how that new scanner or your old printer can't be used on a Google PC.

I agree with Brett, this is a big step for Google and they are going to make a lot of enemies with this move. Add to that list either AMD or Intel.

3:06 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Brett - Good point!

I can't imagine why Google, who now enjoys the benefit of a fantastic ROI, would jump in to the down and dirty consumer electronics biz other than to lock users in to their search.

3:13 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Did anybody read the article? It all appears to be based on speculation and rumor. Have there been any actual press releases or statements by the companies involved?
3:19 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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German Google press liaison Stefan Keuchel says [heise.de] it's "all rumours without any real basis", but confirms that there will be "a couple of interesting things" at the upcoming CES.

btw: Has the MIT already found a manufacturer for their 100$ Laptop [laptop.media.mit.edu]?

[edited by: pmkpmk at 3:22 pm (utc) on Jan. 3, 2006]

3:21 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Should be considered a rational counter move to the attack on Google's search market Windows Vista for sure will do.

I'll bet that the OS is a Linux-clone.

3:21 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> speculation and rumor.

I agree to a degree. The LA times is rather specific information and even saying that it will happen in Larrys Speech at CES on friday.

> Most home users aren't going around buying Thinkpads,

Think Chips and main frames Jake. What do the backbone guys use? Main frames. If G is really prepping a main frame like shipping container, then they already have IBM in the cross hairs. Google and those "shipping container data centers" need cheap pcs.

> reason it would be so cheap perhaps as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

YOu can already by a Linux based PC (without monitor) at Frys for $199 alot of times.

3:30 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So will it have Google OS on it?

See [webmasterworld.com...] (2004) and [webmasterworld.com...] (2005 - with Screenshots in first post)

3:55 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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two things come to mind:

-Jack of all trades, master of none
-Brand dilution

4:07 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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it might well feature a lot of java based apps .. going by their recent partnership with Sun...
4:16 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Agree - Look to the Sun deal as evidence of something bigger happening.
4:34 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The article mentions that it is speculation. Have a look at this text from the article,

Here are some predictions for the media industry for 2006, based on interviews with industry analysts, executives and investors, along with a little intuition.
4:43 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess we find out on friday...

...headed to Vegas.

4:47 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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An eMachine sold cheap and maybe even sold at a loss ala MSFTs game console XBox360. Smart.
Bad news for Dell, H.P. and Lenova, they will get pushed away from the low end market and will have to concentrate on gamers and business needs.
4:53 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The huge chunk of daily office routine can be covered with a low-end PC as well.
5:00 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think it will be exciting! Its about time somebody threw down the gauntlet at MS's doorstep! I like people who think outside the box and challenge others to work hard and become more inventive in order to maintain their market share.

Competition is good for everyone all around! Go Google! Let's see what the boys have in store for us!

5:04 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Probably a linux based google os packaged with HP or Dell and branded as Wal-Mart. Remember this is basically going to be a Wal-Mart goodie. That way the support could be offloaded as a subcontact to the original manufacturer's support team. G is not known for support. And could avoid a black eye for bad stats. This way they can blame the manufacturer for bad support stats.

carybyrd20

5:10 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Remember close to a year ago when Google bought a butt load of fiber optics?

$200 high quality computers then FREE lightning fast internet. I know this won't happen overnight but I bet you anything it will happen in most major cities within the next 10 years.

Google is in it for the long run. They started out as a little red caboose but have added many trains since to form a giga-train that will not stop...not even for Bill Gates!

Why must we all have this love-hate relasionship with Google?

5:51 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I know what I'm giving family for xmas next year. Maybe I can phase out their free tech support like I have with my friends. If I were Larry or Serg, I'd be scouting for a moviestar-grade bodyguard force.
6:04 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Why must we all have this love-hate relasionship with Google?

When you think that everything G do is to get people clicking on ads, that makes me sceptical about their intentions. The extent they will go to (fibre optics, cheap computers, etc.) to get you to wait for it .. click on ads is striking.

If G beat MS at their own game before MS beat G at their own game (i.e. develop a half decent search engine that threatens Gs existence) I will be extremely surprised, and will even cease to be a G sceptic.

6:16 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone think it could even be a stripped down Sun Workstation it will run most versions of Unix with little or no major issues and is media enabled , maybe rebadged as a Google terminal .

Whatever it is it's a truly brave move by G and could turn many of the things we have accepted as standard in Home computing on end

steve

6:20 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's worth mentioning this article is followed by other huge rumors like MS buying out Yahoo for $90B so I'm going to take this news about a deal with Walmart with a grain of salt. That said - if G does come out with a successful network PC then they would do what so many have failed at over the past decade.
6:40 pm on Jan 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Regindk:
I'll bet that the OS is a Linux-clone

They will have fun with the modem. Most Windows-OS computers bundle a dirt-cheap Windows-hosted controllerless model which took 5 years of debugging to give vaguely good connections. Linux has not had anything like the same effort invested, and is flakey (I am willing to be contradicted in this).

Brett_Tabke:

...headed to Vegas

Do ask them about this please, Brett. Could be the Achilles Heel.
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