The laptops, which run Google’s Chrome operating system, will be available online June 15 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with more countries following in the coming months, Google said today on its blog. U.S. customers can also order the devices from Amazon.com Inc. and Best Buy Co.
Google devised Chrome to be a faster, more Internet-focused operating system, a bid to use its Web-search leadership to challenge Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows and Apple Inc.’s Mac software. Google, which first announced the Chrome OS in 2009, offered a test version of laptops with the software in December.
“We think users are really ready for this,” said Sundar Pichai, a senior vice president, during a presentation today at Google’s developer conference in San Francisco.
The Chromebooks, which start at $349, will rely mostly on applications delivered over the Internet. They also will be available for businesses at a cost of $28 per month per user, including software and support. For schools and students, the computers will be available for $20 per month per user. The devices rely on Intel Corp.’s Atom chip.
Google fell $7.21 to $535.45 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of the Mountain View, California- based company have declined 9.9 percent this year.
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