Google’s bright idea—for the right price

Google’s Chromebook release went unnoticed after poor quarterly results

Google made two big announcements last week. The one that got the most attention was its accidental release of quarterly financial results hours before markets closed, with a space for comment from CEO Larry Page reading: “Pending Larry Quote.” The less-than-stellar numbers included sent Google’s stock falling nine per cent.

Google’s other news was mostly overlooked amidst the earnings embarrassment, but is likely to have a bigger long-term impact. It released a $250 laptop, the Chromebook. The ultra-cheap computer (made by Samsung and running Google’s Chrome operating system) is described in a punk-rock-themed ad as the laptop “for everyone”—a family- and student-friendly alternative to tablets like the iPad that cost closer to $600. It’s not just hated rival Apple that Google has its sights on. The Chromebook comes out just as Microsoft is set to release a critical overhaul of Windows and its Surface tablet.

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