Cheap PCs, anyone?
Google will unveil its own low-price personal computer or other device that connects to the Internet.
Sources say Google has been in negotiations with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., among other retailers, to sell a Google PC. The machine would run an operating system created by Google, not Microsoft's Windows, which is one reason it would be so cheap — perhaps as little as a couple of hundred dollars.
Bear Stearns analysts speculated in a research report last month that consumers would soon see something called "Google Cubes" — a small hardware box that could allow users to move songs, videos and other digital files between their computers and TV sets.
Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of products, will give a keynote address Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Analysts suspect that Page will use the opportunity either to show off a Google computing device or announce a partnership with a big retailer to sell such a machine.
If Google wants this to work, they will need to provide desktop productivity applications (word processing, spreadsheet, etc) out of the box to consumers, whether it be online applications or installed on the PC. A simple solution would be to just package OpenOffice.org on each PC that goes out the door. But the 'Google' approach should be to put these applications on the web for free or charge a paltry yearly service fee.
But in the end it could end up being a very cheap way to get an extra terminal for home so your missus doesn't keep trying to use your machine. Just make sure it has email, IM and a web browser and the female end of the market will be happy.
Industry Feeling Presence of the 800-Pound Google - Los Angeles Times