Is LG Pursuing Chrome OS Devices?
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Chrome OS leverages the capability of cloud computing to the point where the only ‘native’ programs in the system are a web browser, a media player and a file manager and according to various reports, device maker LG has filed three trademarks that could signal their intent to wholeheartedly embrace the minimalist operating system.
On October 15, LG filed for three trademarks – each one with the word “Chrome” in it: ChromeOne, ChromeDesk and ChromeStation. All three trademarks were filed under the class “Laptop computers; Computers; Convertible computers; Tablet computers.”
LG is currently partnered with Chrome’s developer, also known as Google, on the Nexus brand of smartphones – one of which, the Nexus 5, is expected to debut in time for the holiday shopping season.
Writing for SlashGear, Chris Burns speculates that LG will be working with “laptop computers – in this case Chromebooks – but there’s always the possibility that they’ll move forward with a Chromebox (desktop computer) or the very first Chrome OS tablet.”
In January of 2012, LG signed a patent agreement with Microsoft that provides broad coverage for LG’s tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS Platform.
“We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Horacio Gutierrez – deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft – said at the time. “Together with our ten previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the US are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.”
Chromebooks, released in June 2011, were the first hardware to feature the Chrome OS. According to Google, the operating system’s minimalist concept means it starts up quickly, keeps a fast operating speed over time and is more secure due to regular cloud backups.
While Chrome OS was initially seen as a competitor to Microsoft, due to its available suite of Office-like, cloud-based tools, it is designed to work on netbooks, which are devoid of the high processing power needed to run demanding programs.
“When you buy a netbook, you don’t really install Photoshop on it, or Outlook,” Matthew Papakipos, the engineering director for the Chrome OS project, told Ars Technica in 2010. “It’s too cheap—it’s a $300 machine, [and] it doesn’t make sense to go install expensive software on it… which is great software, but you don’t go install Call of Duty 6 on it. It’s not that kind of machine.”
Some high-profile Google critics have pointed to its two operating systems, Chrome OS and Android, as a case of the company not being able to make up its mind. However, Google co-founder Sergy Brin told Wired in 2011 that having two operating systems was “a problem that most companies would love to face.”
In April 2012, Google made the first update to Chrome OS’s user interface, introducing a window manager called “Aura” and a conventional taskbar. Critics said the changes were a departure from the operating system’s original concept and gave Chrome OS the look and feel of a more conventional system.