Google to launch their own PC

By Derek Sooman on January 3, 2006, 12:32 PM
Google will launch an own-brand Windows-less PC, most likely running Linux, or some form of it. We've heard several rumours over time that Google wants to get into the PC and / or operating system business, perhaps now these claims are finally coming to fruition.

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 where 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?




User Comments: 24

Got something to say? Post a comment
MonkeyMan said:
Well you know, people doubt things all the time, and usually, when what they doubt comes to fruition, its usually one of the greatest additions to modern technology, or to civilization itself. Google, no doubt, has the guns to be successful in the PC business. If advertising is what they are really good at, then by all means, expand to PC hardware, because with successful advertising techniques, Google could easily be a dominating force in the PC industry, and could very well produce new groundbreaking technologies, that could make Microsoft shake in their boots. I say go for it Google!!!!!!!!
asphix said:
I cant help but be extremely skeptical about something such as this. While its true Google has been growing by leaps and bounds there has to be a limit, and this to me seems to be an extremely large step to take even for them.The other thing that irks me is how popular this may possibly be. As apple is finding, Microsoft has one hell of a stranglehold on the home PC market. People love to complain about Microsofts OS, and while I agree it has its issues I also acknowledge it for what makes it a great and extremely versitale, relatively user friendly OS. However people love to try new things, especially if offered under the right conditions (FREE/CHEAP) and are presented as the under dog.I can just see it now, the GOOGLE machine with GOOGLE STYLE operating system. PC offered at a discount rate, OS is free. 1/5th of your desktop realestate is populated by ads, and you must endure ads being implemented in random nooks and crannies throughout the interface!I love what google has done just as much as the next guy. Their search engine is powerful and extremely usefull, as well as all their other persuits. But lets face it. Googles business model is built upon service funded by ads. I cant imagine their new project to not incorporate ads, and I'm not entirely sure I want anyone exploring the idea of a discount machine littered with adverts that will appeal to the less financially secure or technologically savy segment of the population.But then again, I could be wrong.. thats just the initial feeling/fear I get.[Edited by asphix on 2006-01-03 13:28:55]
asphix said:
I just came across the same news coverage from Bit-Tech offering more insight into the possibilities. It ads more weight to my fears of it being cheap, targeted at financially tight persons, and the potential for it to actually take off and have at least a small degree of popularity.They're looking to sell these machines at Wal-Mart :([url]http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/01/03/google_pc_wal
art_launch/[/url]
Strakian said:
This is a bit weird. Google does some great things, but it seems like they're stretching into the realms of Microsoft. Given enough time, perhaps Google may even become the next "Monopoly" powerhouse that everyone buys from. Kind of a scary thought really.In addition, they're being sued and blocked for doing a lot of things they shouldn't be doing, and this next step just doesn't make any sense. It's like a train with no breaks, it's just steaming ahead until it runs out of track.
Masque said:
What Google is doing is not surprising. Take a look at their moves lately.....all they're doing is diversifying. They've gotten to the point where they're absolutely huge and their eggs are all in one basket. Fingers in businesses of different flavors is not necessarily a bad thing. This (if it comes to fruition) can only be good for the majority of people. Competition....straight forward. I hope the rumors are true and if so, the best of luck to them.
mtyson8 said:
Not to mention how much can they even benefit from doing this if it is even sucessful? Internet advertising would be so much a money maker that even if google is sucessful with this new PC, it to me would be less than 5% of the revenue.
raystorm said:
This had to happen sooner or later. I figured they would at least make their own personal distro of Linux, make it noob friendly like Lindows/Ubuntu, integrate their search engine into the OS and distribute it like Linux. I didn't figure they would get into the hardware business but I'm sure these new pc's will be basic pc/net "appliances". I wonder who will make the hardware and if they'll partner with a brand and slap their name on it since they are a household name. Lets see how big google will get in the coming years..should be interesting for sure.
PanicX said:
I don't think its really that far of a stretch. Google's been selling [url=http://www.google.com/enterprise/]Web Appliances[/url] for years now. Oh, and what OS does it run? [url=http://www.google.com/support/gsa/bin/answer.py?answer=
5898]Google Linux[/url]
PUTALE said:
i saw the news yesterday. It looks like google is plan to take on MS for the desktop OS. I think google is testing on the water to see the response before it release a full OS (if they deem that they have the power to compete wiht Windows, as they have done with the search engine).
Bartzy said:
Google is one of the most powerful companies in the Internet buissness at the moment. They do everything good. You can say anything bad about their services and products. Everything ticks like a clock and everybody are happy with it. I dont understand why people are against it. Even if there will ads on their PC (which I seriously doubt), so what ? Maybe it will be a great OS ? Maybe it will be something special that you can't find anywhere else ?Anyway, even if you will decide not to use their products, it's great to have another solution for a desktop computer, and maybe even another OS. It just makes the competition interesting, and it's good for us - The consumers.
barfarf said:
Weird. I donít know why Google wants to hop into the cheap PC market. Lindows now called Linspire (they got sued by Microsoft for their name being too similar) has already done that. Linspire managed to partner up with the worlds largest retailer Walmart and sell cheap Linux based pcís and laptops for the past few years. They tried to make their GUI very simple for the average joe to use without the high cost of the Microsoft label. Also MIT is trying to produce for some time now a $100 laptop for schools. Of course Google has the name brand and money or the gun as MonkeyMan said to be successful. Personally I like to see a future of free PCís that has tons of non evil ads on them. It will bridge the gap of the digital divide we here in the usa. Maybe even get USA as wired as South Korea is per capita.
2old said:
Even more interesting will be the other big players (eg. M-soft)competitive response to this. We may see benefits across the board for us all........
asphix said:
[b]Originally posted by Bartzy:[/b][quote]I dont understand why people are against it. Even if there will ads on their PC (which I seriously doubt), so what ? Maybe it will be a great OS ? Maybe it will be something special that you can't find anywhere else ?[/quote]Do you really think a 200 dollar computer being sold at Wal-Mart with ads saturating the home PC market is a good thing? Who knows what the hardware is in this thing, but It certainly wont be anything that drives the market. This will be the equivilant of a ps2 with an operating system on it filled with adverts. Capable of surfing the net and word processing. Anyone who values a computer as an every-day tool will know to stay away from this machine, yet the hordes of people who go to Wal-Mart will purchase it simply because its cheap (they're at walmart after all), and its google. C'mon.. everyones heard of google..so it must be a good machine!While this is not an earth shatteringly horrible thing(it will still destroy many small/local PC vendors), I dont want to see it done with ads as its spot light.Has nothing to do with google. It has to do with the concept. I remember the days of a close to ad-free internet. Once people accepted that ads were fine, and website designers found out how to incorporate them without them being overly obtrusive they sprung up everywhere.My concern is that if and when this is sucessful (and is acceptable by the general public), Microsoft, apple and other major OS deveopers will follow suit, adding adverts to their operating systems.Its like a double edged sword. In one hand, youhave a cheap computer.. in the other, you are opening the door to making cheap hardware, and ad ridden software acceptable. If this move ever hit it big, it would rock the industry. In some ways for the better, but also, in my opinion in a lot of ways for the worse.Look at dell, and the software they package with their machines. You cant purchase a PC from them without 10 versions of AOL, MSN 3 different anti-virus applications and various other junk installed. They offer you a cheap PC.. but it comes at a price. Acceptance of a PC as cheap as this, in my eyes is something we definitely want to steer away from just as much as we want to steer away from overly expensive systems.[Edited by asphix on 2006-01-03 16:40:21]
cyrax said:
I forsee if successful, this will be a rival to dell. Dell has been lagging behind of late and does not fully support non windows os's.I look foward to future announcements.
PanicX said:
I can't find anywhere in the article that states the OS will be ad infested. If for no other reason, these PC's make sense for google as they can set the default search engine and homepage for the default installed browser. It'd be a manuver to steal back the internet like Microsoft did to Netscape.Not to mention that since its Linux, you've already got the tools necessary to make the machine perform how you want.
nathanskywalker said:
[url]http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20051213/tc_usatoday/go
gleexpandspushintooverseasmarket[/url][url]http://www.usat
day.com/tech/news/2005-12-12-google-dublin_x.htm[/url][url
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,63918,00.html[/u
l]Google is getting bigger...
exscind said:
Google is so successful right now I think the company is just using the momentum to test new grounds. I, like some posts above, think this will be a failed project. And I for one hope Google fails miserably just so they learn that they cannot just jump into any field of the computer indudstry and expect flourishing results. They had sucess with google search engine, gmail, and google toolbar; but they're not doing so well in tools/services like google talk, and it is evident because AIM and MSN messenger have already "settled" in, and users aren't really willing to migrate to another service unless the incentive is enormous. Another example is google picasa (seriously, how many of you or your friends know or use this?). But then again, their stocks are around $431 USD per share so who are we to say anything? :)[Edited by exscind on 2006-01-03 21:00:15][Edited by exscind on 2006-01-03 21:01:23]
vigilante said:
Maybe Google is just a speeding train with no brakes, but what is at the end of the tracks? Microsoft. haha, ouchIf anything, this will scare some other companies into improving their products.I just hope google doesn't partner with a hardware builder like Dell or HP or something. I hope they figure out a way to have generic parts rather then proprietary.The trick is, what will the hardware be? What will the OS be? If the hardware is generic, people can just as easily put Windows or a standard Linux on there. And you're stuck with an every day cheap PC. Nothing special.But if the hardware is proprietary, and the OS as well, they may have something special to offer. But then, who wants proprietary hardware and software? Not me.It will be interesting for sure...
rahuls said:
Google will have a hard time making the OS as user friendly as Microsoft does it.
Rage_3K_Moiz said:
Almost everything Google has dabbled in has churned out something successful. So its but natural that they try to take on Microsoft too. Even if they become a monopoly, maybe they'll be a monopoly that delivers products way better than their competitors, not like Microsoft and their Xbox 360.
zachig said:
Way to go, Google!!! I think that Google made a huge progress over the years. They started with 'only' a search engine and now they offer a lot of services (like Gmail, Froogle, etc.) including some great ideas which are still in development (See 'Google Labs').I even heard that they've purchased the domain named: www.gbrowser.com. I wonder if it means that they are planning on developing their own browser?!?!
mentaljedi said:
[b]Originally posted by Rage_3K_Moiz:[/b][quote]Almost everything Google has dabbled in has churned out something successful. So its but natural that they try to take on Microsoft too. Even if they become a monopoly, maybe they'll be a monopoly that delivers products way better than their competitors, not like Microsoft and their Xbox 360.[/quote]I 100 percent agrree with you. Google is like a BFG. This is a good move from google, except i'd hope google would go for a higher range. Perhaps medium range PCs for a good price. People always want those. THe ones in the 1000 $ area.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I wish they'd make something revolutionary about the OS. With those resources it would be possible to come up with something other than Windows-mimicking Linux. [url=http://www.sun.com/software/looking_glass/]Project Looking Glass[/url] anyone?
nimo333 said:
Google building PCs, that's just too wierd! What does want Google to become, a master in every kind of tech?
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.