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Supply of Google CR-48 Chrome Notebooks all dried up

CR-48 prototype notebooks supplies are all finished due to excessive demand

If you were one of the many crossing their fingers in hope of Google sending a CR-48 laptop their way, then it might be time to unravel your digits. According to a tweet from a Google executive, the Chrome OS CR-48 prototype notebooks have all been shipped and Google will not be accepting anymore applications to its Pilot program.

The laptops were first announced in December 2010 and showcased the much awaited Google Chrome OS. In an attempt to publicize and test the quick-boot OS, Google announced a pilot program where the CR-48 notebooks were handed out for free in exchange for periodical feedback. Original estimates indicated that Google produced approximately 60,000 of these notebooks and gave them away to applicants that they deemed satisfactory.

Unfortunately, Google executive Sundar Pichai tweeted earlier this week that all the units have been shipped for now and the Chrome OS will only be available via partner laptops later this year. In confirmation of the Tweet a Google spokeswoman said via email “At this time we are no longer accepting new applications for the Pilot program and no longer shipping units. We are looking forward to our partner devices later this year."  The spokeswoman also indicated that the response to the Pilot program “has been fantastic” and interest in the Chrome notebooks “greatly surpassed our expectations”.

While it is unfortunate that there will no longer be any free CR-48 notebooks, it is comforting to know that the Chrome OS managed to be a hit. The latest updates to the OS cleared up some known issues and this should only lead to better things in the future. Thankfully, the official Samsung and Acer Chrome OS notebooks should hit markets in the middle of this year and we hope to be able to get our hands on the OS at that point.


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Omar Qudsi, 2011-03-13 (Update: 2012-05-26)