Google to Set Up Chrome PC R&D Center in Taiwan

Search engine Google.com will set up a laboratory in Taiwan to develop computers running on its Chrome operating system (OS) in cooperation with local OEM/ODM-based PC makers, according to the company`s senior vice president for Chrome business operation, Sundar Pichai.

Pichai made the statement on the sideline of the Taipei Computex 2011 computer show, which runs from May 31 until June 4. He stressed that Taiwan`s abundant experience and advantage in making OEM/ODM PC is behind his company`s decision to open the laboratory in Taiwan.

Google will use the laboratory as the hub to offer support to OEM/ODM PC makers across the Asia-Pacific region. Pichai said he had approached chief executive officers of Asustek Computer Inc., Quanta Computer Inc., and Compal Electronics Inc. over the vision and idea that Chromebook project would offer.

The Chromebook-codenamed computers, whether they are desktop, laptop or tablet, will run exclusively on ChromeOS. Pichai stressed that consumers will have a completely new experience with Chromebook.

Pichai touted that Chromebook`s performance will improve along with time going as the ChromeOS will constantly update by itself from the Internet at each switch-on. He added that computers on other OSs usually slow down exponentially along with new application software added over a period of time.

Chrome OS, Pichai said, boots up a computer in eight seconds and instantly wakes up a computer from hibernation mode.

So far, Google has entered into alliance with Acer and Samsung on Chromebook project. But Pichai estimated the project will sign up more partners in Taiwan after the laboratory is opened. Acer and Samsung will introduce Chromebook-based netbooks sometime in June.

Since its introduction not long ago, Google`s Chromebook has stirred up questions why the company chooses laptop over tablet PC as its initial platform when people consider Google Android is already the dominant OS behind non-Apple tablet PCs and smartphones. Pichai declined to make any comment on the questions at the Taipei computer trade show.

(by Ken Liu)

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