Google Chrome OS Netbook Released for Free in Pilot Program

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Yesterday, Google hosted a San Diego based event focused on their Chrome OS and the Chrome notebook. While rumors have been flying about what exactly would be announced, especially since Google’s media invitation on December 3rd included the line, “we plan to share some exciting news about Chrome.” That news has now been released and is publicly available, with two key announcements: the official Chrome Web Store has been unleashed, and a Chrome netbook is now being tested — a test that you or your company may be able to participate in as part of Google’s pilot program.

As announced at Google’s event and later on the official Google blog, the netbook first announced by the search engine giant in 2009 is ready for its first round of public testing. While these atomic-powered netbooks have already received feedback from friends and family of the Google team, they’re considering the project “pre-Beta.” As such, the pilot testing of the netbook will be by approved application only.

While you can apply as an individual, priority will be given to companies, non-profits, and educational institutions. Applicants are invited to submit a description of how they would use the netbook, what makes them a unique pilot user, and may also submit a video as well. While Google simply describes the number of available netbooks as “limited,” Engadget previously released the figure of about 65,000 units. The full pilot program application can be found at the Chrome Netbook site.

Google describes Chrome OS as being an “operating system that is essentially a browser.” All of the applications on the system will be web-based, making Google’s second Chrome announcement — the Chrome Web Store — work in tandem with the first. The Chrome Web Store will be a location where users can buy, and developers can publish, web-based applications that will function for the Chrome OS.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • tonyknuckles

    I applied, looking forward to possibly being a tester..

  • Atl9sign

    It seems that it would make more sense to just expand Android to alllow netbook (and eventually pc) use.

  • Atl9sign

    It seems that it would make more sense to just expand Android to alllow netbook (and eventually pc) use.

  • Googlelover

    I didn’t even apply, I just asked for a Chrome sticker for my laptop, and BOOM, I got a netbook in the mail a few minutes ago. Sweet Christmas present Google. I think I love you even more.

  • Ian

    I applied! I am a non-profit though so I hope this bodes well for me!

  • Rob Young


    The details of the Chrome system basically is Android functionality for netbooks. It seems to be a hybridized version of netbook and tablet capabilities. Hard to say anything more at this early stage. I’m simply eager to see how it progresses.

  • Arags80

    Got my in the mail today. Its having connection issues.

  • Batemandiane

    I got mine today and absolutely love it! It is super fast and doesn’t crash like my Acer netbook which I used chrome as my browser.