Last month I wrote about some of Google’s interesting and enticing programs and incentives for small businesses and startup companies. This month I have come across (albeit somewhat late) Google’s momentous segue into the universe of the operating system. “Chromium,” an outgrowth of Google’s browser Chrome, is to hit the monitors soon, and in order to ensure that it lives up to the hype such a project creates, Google has been giving away 60,000 netbooks since the beginning of December that are exclusively serviced with Google’s beta operating system. The select lucky group that receives these CR-48s sign up and agree to provide Google with helpful feedback and responses concerning the potential glitches and bugs within the system.
Intended for the user who can accomplish most of their work online, Google Chromium is an internet based operating system that should be familiar to the Gmail users who have taken advantage of services such as Google Docs and Google Calendar. Therefore, to make sure the Beta testers can make full time use of Chromium’s capabilities, the CR-48s will come equipped with a built-in 3G hardware that will be serviced by Verizon for a two year, 100mb/month contract. (So not only is Google giving out free netbooks, they are also giving out free internet service—quite enticing).
In the case that you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, and particularly if you rely on many internet services to perform these roles, your might very easily manage to earn yourself a CR-48 since Google intends to make as many useful open source Google business tools as possible and would love feedback from businesspeople regarding them.