Feeds

Google to 'launch own PC'

Windows-free, of course

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Google is planning to provide an own-brand Windows-less PC and sell the low-cost system through a partnership with retail giant Wal-Mart. The machine and/or the sales deal could be announced as early as this coming Friday.

So claims the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed sources. Whether they've seen the text of Google co-founder Larry Page's Consumer Electronics Show keynote, which he'll make in Las Vegas on Friday, isn't clear, but it's suggested that the talk will cover the new box.

As the paper notes, analysts from investment house Bear Stearns last month claimed Google was preparing a box capable of shuffling digital Internet-sourced media content around the home across local wireless or wired networks.

Crucially, the rig is said to be based on Google's own operating system - most likely Linux in Google clothing - rather than Windows.

Yes, that old chestnut. But while it has been often claimed in the past that Google wants to get into the OS business, there's been no compelling reason given why this would be a good idea. Google's strengths are internet advertising - which is were its money comes from - and its search engine brand. Whether the latter is strong enough to translate into a very different arena - computer hardware - is open to question. Beyond any licensing fee it makes from its manufacturing partner, what's the gain?

Pissing off Microsoft? It might, but releasing a Google OS is a very long way from displacing the Beast of Redmond from its PC throne, particularly in the desktop segment. Apple hasn't done it and Linux hasn't done, and both have had many years to try. Google wouldn't exactly be short of competition on the hardware side either.

The idea of a low-cost, consumer-oriented information processing system isn't unattractive, but it's been tried before and largely failed. In part, that's because the offerings didn't have a backer of the wealth of Google behind it, but unless the vendor seriously limits what the thing can do, sooner or later the support calls start flooding in and the cost of helping non-technical buyers install new software and updates start mounting. All this just to get a few more ads in front of a few more eyeballs, which is the motivation Google is perceived to have behind launching its own PC? ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.