Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduced its Chrome operating system in 2011, and it didn’t exactly burst out of the gate, what with the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) OS X and Windows from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) dominating the computer landscape. But over the last few months, the Chrome OS has gotten some positive momentum, with a couple of companies producing lower-budget Chromebook devices that gave Google a foothold.
Now, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) can add a third company to its new distribution partnership for Chrome.
Lenovo, one of the growing names in laptop and tablet hardware, announced this week that it is releasing its own version of a Chromebook in late February geared to students in the classroom. The ThinkPad X131e will retail for $429 and will feature not only the Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chrome OS but will also have an 11-inch high-definition display screen, three USB ports and built-in webcam and is expected to have battery life that will last through a seven- to eight-hour school day, the Chinese manufacturer stated.
This would be the first higher-priced devices that feature Chrome, as the OS didn’t really start to gain market share until the lower-priced Samsung Chromebook and Acer C7 Chromebook reached the market last year. While it seems that Chrome has a way to go before it can be named as an alternative to the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) OS X and Windows from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) as a new laptop option. Still, if Lenovo can build off its own sales momentum with some of its other devices and create a solid device that can effectively run this new OS (Lenovo has produced Windows devices) like it runs Windows, this could be an opportunity for Google to enter the education realm, where Microsoft has had a significant market advantage over the years.
Can Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) make an impact in the educational environment? Is Lenovo the right company to work with on this project? Does Chrome even have a future as an OS? Let us know your thoughts!
DISCLOSURE: I hold no position in any stock mentioned.
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