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Google to build new research center in Taiwan for Chrome OS

2011/05/31 20:29:04

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) U.S.-based Google Inc. announced Tuesday itwill build a research and development center in Taiwan for its Chromeoperating system exclusively, as part of the search giant's effort topromote the emerging platform in business and educational markets.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome at Google, saidGoogle will expand its manpower in the R&D center in Taipei by hiringmore local engineers to build a new operating ecosystem with Taiwan'soriginal equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original designmanufacturers (ODMs).

The mission of the new center will be different from thetraditional notebook manufacturing model, as the members in thecenter will discuss product features and details with Google's globalChrome OS team, he said.

Pichai made the remarks at the company's press conference atComputex Taipei, the world's No. 2 computer technology fair behindGermany's CeBIT.

Chrome OS, which originates from the web-based Chrome browser,provides users with a faster and easier access to the Internet on avariety of devices, said Pichai. But Google so far does not have anyplans to use the OS on tablet PCs.

As the number of users of Google's Chrome browser has increasedfrom 70 million to 160 million during the past two years, the companyplans to launch Chrome-based notebook computers, or Chromebooks, inthe middle of June.

The 12.1-inch Chromebook, branded under Samsung Electronics Co.,will go on sale in the United States, the United Kingdom, France,Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.

The smaller Chromebook, sizing 11.6 inches and bearing the logoof Acer Inc., does not have a rollout schedule yet.

Still, Acer and Google have already agreed on the prices. TheWi-Fi version of the Chromebook will start at US$349 (NT$9,995) inthe United States, while the 3G version will be tagged at US$429.

The newly unveiled device can also be rented in the businessmarket with a monthly fee of US$28 per user, while its monthly rentalprice in the educational market is lower at US$20 per user, Pichaisaid.

(By Jeffrey Wu)