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Acer denies Chrome OS netbook launch is near

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Acer has gone on record to state that it will not be launching netbooks based on Google's Chrome OS in the "short term".

"Acer believes that Chrome OS is without doubt an exciting product announcement and deserves its full attention as well as an in-depth study of its potential from a consumers perspective," the Taiwanese corporation said.

And here's the 'but...':

"Despite recent rumours in the press regarding the launch of Chrome OS-based netbooks at Computex, Acer today confirms that it has no short-term plans for such a product."

The company said it will "be following the development and progress of Google Chrome and the evolution of Google’s overall product strategy very closely".

This latest statement is in contrast to comments made earlier this year by Jim Wong, head of Acer’s IT products division. In January, Wong said ten per cent of Acer’s netbooks will feature Chrome after the OS' appearance in Q3.

Wong said the adoption of Chrome was motivated by “a change to the Microsoft-Intel environment”, indicating that the netbooks would use ARM-based processors.

A month earlier, Acer chairman JT Wang has said his firm will be first to launch a Chrome-based netbook.

Of course, all that was before the introduction and arrival of the iPad. Manufacturers like Acer will undoubtedly have been prompted by Apple device to rethink their hardware - netbooks, tablets and e-book readers - and operating system software strategies.

They may well conclude their original, pre-iPad approach is still the best one to take, but there's no doubt the iPad will have prompted a fresh look.

That Acer feels the need now to tell World+Dog it doesn't have a Chrome OS netbook in the works is surprising. If it was to release one in Q3 or Q4, an appearance of the prototype at Computex, which takes place early next month, would not be out of the ordinary.

Clearly it now wants to avoid disappointing market watchers which implies its timetable for release such product has been considerably delayed. Or even dropped altogether. ®

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