Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, has revealed that he expects netbooks and other devices based running the company's forthcoming Google Chrome OS to be available for between $300 and $400.
Addressing an audience at the Google's Atmosphere Cloud Computing Forum, Schmidt said that the new devices would mark a new era of "completely disposable" mobile hardware (ed : not something eco-green warriors want to hear).
This platform, he reckons, would run on smartphone-grade hardware, boot up in two seconds and use the cloud for storage, HTML5 for enhanced security and offer whatever fat clients can, except better and cheaper.
Google's head honcho also claimed that Chrome OS would be the biggest development in the world of OS in the last 20 years, emerging as a formidable rival to Windows, Linux and MacOSx.
He added that "If there's anyone who understands how hard this stuff is then it's me personally and the team we've assembled is very good. If you go back to what we are trying to do we are trying to develop a new set of platforms".
Those who have been around for long enough will remember that Schmidt's words are similar to what Larry Ellison, Oracle's CEO, enunciated 15 years ago when he described a new breed of thin clients and a new paradigm centered around the concept of Network Computing.
$300 for the Chrome OS device? We envision that it could go for even less. Bear in mind that the cost of the LCD display is the biggest chunk of the overall Bill of Materials and that a Chrome OS netbook for example will share most of the parts used by an entry level smartphone.