12/7/2010

Google takes wraps off first Chrome PCs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The first crop of computers powered by Google Inc’s Chrome system will start selling in mid-2011 and come with free Verizon Wireless connections for two years, opening another front in its rivalry with Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc.

The new Chrome-based notebooks will come with 100 megabytes of free wireless data transfers per month for two years courtesy of Verizon, executives told reporters on Tuesday.

They are designed to promote Web-centric computing, in which consumers use online applications instead of downloading software to their PCs. To support that, the company started up on Tuesday a Web store selling some 500 games, news and other software applications, carving out a bigger role in the next generation of Internet media and entertainment.

Google opens e-book store in challenge to Amazon

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. is making the leap from digital librarian to merchant in a challenge to Amazon.com Inc. and its Kindle electronic reader.

The long-awaited Internet book store, which opened Monday in the U.S., draws upon a portion of the 15 million printed books that Google has scanned into its computers during the past six years.

About 4,000 publishers, including CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster Inc., Random House Inc. and Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group, are also allowing Google to carry many of their recently released books in the new store.

Those publishing deals will ensure that most of the current best sellers are among the 3 million e-books initially available in Google’s store, said Amanda Edmonds, who oversaw the company’s partnerships. Millions more out-of-print titles will appear in Google’s store, called eBooks, if the company can gain federal court approval of a proposed class-action settlement with U.S. publishers and authors.

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