Linuxjournal.com is running a story putting forth the idea of a subsidized Chrome OS netbook from Google. The cool think about the idea is that they are pondering a fully-subsidized (a.k.a. free!) netbook. The piece predicts that, without the need for an expensive hard drive, and with the falling prices of netbooks, Google could potentially validate the giving of free netbooks that run Chrome OS.
At first glance, this seems to be a great idea. Well, at second and third glance it's great, if you ask me. Who wouldn't want a free netbook computer? As the article predicts, this would completely flip the market for computers. Instead of paying $300 for a new netbook, you could get one for nothing, if you are willing to use Chrome OS. And at this point, I could say that I am. However, there is potential for Google to ruin this "free Chrome OS netbook".
So how would Google make money on this, you ask? We all know Google is in business for something, and employees have to be paid. Well, I would predict that they would implement well-placed advertisements throughout the system. You may say that this would be annoying, but I would bet that it would be tolerable if they are not "mandatory" ads like Apple is patenting. Nothing that a user must click on or interact with continuously to use the Chrome OS netbook.
I say if they played this right, a free Chrome OS netbook from Google could put them at the forefront of next-generation mobile computing. But only if they do it right, which is a long shot in many cases. What do you think about this? Would you take a free netbook with Chrome OS on it? A ad-supported netbook? Let us know in the comments!