"Chrome OS hardware should be sold for $300 - $400"- Eric Schmidt

In an inteview last week (uncovered by TechRadar) during the Atmosphere Cloud Computing Forum, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated that Google Chrome OS netbooks should price out at $300 to $400. He emphasized that the price is purely reflective of the hardware, and that the software will be free and open-source as planned. Schmidt hopes that PC manufacturers will bundle the software with laptops, and the company hopes to use the low-cost, portable, netbook market to drive their OS platform to sales success, and Acer has already stated their intent to have the first notebook available with Chome OS installed.

Aside from the market goals Shmidt has in mind, he's also looking at the historic context in which the OS will be released. He expects Chrome OS to be the first OS platform to have an effect on consumer sales in over 20 years. Windows has clearly dominated that sector with OSX trailing far behind in second place. Schmidt is ready to take on the two heavyweights. 

"If you think about it there's not been a new successful platform in this space for 20 years, and I've had a few failures along the way[.] If there's anyone who understands how hard this stuff is then it's me personally and the team we've assembled is very good."

Expect to see the OS released at the end of 2010, and devices packaged with Chrome OS to be launched in the first half of 2011. 

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29 Comments

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I don't mean to state the obvious, but this is just an estimate. Eric Schmidt isn't going to be setting the price of these devices. I'm sure many Chrome OS netbook manufacturers will make devices that cost under this range, and some will make devices that cost more than this range. I can see the low end of this range being a good bet for "average."

I saw a video just now on Chrome OS boot speed and it was stated that "we are using solid state drives, not hard drives." If that is indeed the case, and Chrome OS will require an SSD in lieu of an HDD, that could explain the $300-400 price point, even if the SSD is fairly small.

For 300-400 dollars?
For about 200 u could get a netbook that has windows+chrome browser
("The Chrome OS is just the browser withont windows")

meshiga said,
For 300-400 dollars?
For about 200 u could get a netbook that has windows+chrome browser
("The Chrome OS is just the browser withont windows")

-2
Wrong. And I'm no Google evangelist, but what you said is just wrong.

If individuals think that iPhone OS is restrictive I wonder how they will receive an OS that is nothing more than an internet browser.

warwagon said,
Why even make the Google OS. Why not just put android on the netbook. Seems like a far more useful os.

I concur.

Could be slick but I think it's quite scary when it's Google the info/profile hoarder. The odd service here and there but on your desktop, just makes me feel a little uneasy.

Just because they beat Microsoft at mobile, it doesn't mean it will be that easy in the desktop world. They won't get more marketshare than OSX for sure. It will need many years to be decent.

Shouldn't it be cheaper than that? You can easily find netbooks right now with Windows installed in that price range. I've seen some as low as $228 (the eMachines netbook that Walmart had early in the year). Surely without the overhead of Microsoft's licensing fees, the netbooks running ChromeOS could be sold in the $175-$275 price range.

roadwarrior said,
Shouldn't it be cheaper than that? You can easily find netbooks right now with Windows installed in that price range. I've seen some as low as $228 (the eMachines netbook that Walmart had early in the year). Surely without the overhead of Microsoft's licensing fees, the netbooks running ChromeOS could be sold in the $175-$275 price range.

For the budget eMachines and Wal-Mart specials, maybe.

A "mid-range" netbook will be in the 300-400 range, though. That's just by default, with no sales or anything, and for current-gen hardware.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,

A "mid-range" netbook will be in the 300-400 range, though. That's just by default, with no sales or anything, and for current-gen hardware.

Yes, but again, that is including the cost of the Windows license. Even though Microsoft gives deep discounts to OEMs, the cost of Windows is still a significant part of the price of a netbook. ChromeOS netbooks wouldn't have this overhead, and should easily come in under $300, even for a mid to upper range netbook.

Oh, and that eMachine wasn't exactly budget specs, it was identical to the 10" Acer Aspire One, but had an even larger hard drive!

Edited by roadwarrior, Apr 20 2010, 5:05pm :

roadwarrior said,


Oh, and that eMachine wasn't exactly budget specs, it was identical to the 10" Acer Aspire One, but had an even larger hard drive!


It's still an eMachines PC. They've always been bargain bin; it's their business model.

Either way, I see your point that it could be lower. It really depends on the manufacturers' willingness to pursue the undercutting of prices once windows is out of the picture. Also, you could have a rockin' Cadilac netbook that would usually sell for 500-600, and sell it for normal netbook prices with the Chrome OS. I don't know if the OS is targeting casual users or not, but if the power travel users who want the best netbook money can buy, but at a significantly lower price, Chrome OS might be gold for them.

Ruler of the Interwebs said,

It's still an eMachines PC. They've always been bargain bin; it's their business model.

The netbook in question was simply a rebranded Acer Aspire One. The size, shape, and EVERYTHING else about it was the same other than the label and color. The exact same model of Acer Asprie One sold for nearly $100 more.

roadwarrior said,

The netbook in question was simply a rebranded Acer Aspire One. The size, shape, and EVERYTHING else about it was the same other than the label and color. The exact same model of Acer Asprie One sold for nearly $100 more.


Well, I've always wondered how eMachines does its thing, especially considering the lack of difference in specs.

Sazz181 said,
If the final product is in that price range I'll be picking one of those up myself.

400 bucks for a notebook that does almost everything in the cloud and NOT on the notebook itself? You just need the OS and some CPU/RAM to run a few apps. As almost everything runs in that cloud. Why need 400bucks worth of hardware?

Sazz181 said,
If the final product is in that price range I'll be picking one of those up myself.

I bought an Acer with 15.6" screen, AMD TF-20, 3GB, DVD burner, and 250GB hard drive for $350. That's with Windows 7. Why would hardware need to cost more than that to run Chrome OS?

farmeunit said,

I bought an Acer with 15.6" screen, AMD TF-20, 3GB, DVD burner, and 250GB hard drive for $350. That's with Windows 7. Why would hardware need to cost more than that to run Chrome OS?

+1. And then the feds might crop up and Google will have to "share" our data with them gives me jibbers. I would rather go for a notebook.