Google Ships Final CR-48 For Now, Acer / Samsung Products Coming In 2011

It's bittersweet, this ending. Google Product Management vice president Sundar Pichai has just confirmed via Twitter that the last CR-48 netbook has shipped out for now, and we have our doubts on the production line restarting. The CR-48 was always a strange launch. Google never "sold" them. You had to apply for one and get lucky enough to have one shipped to you for beta testing. It was clear from the start that the CR-48 was meant to be a beta machine, intended to give Google an idea of how Chrome OS would fare in the real world.

It seems that the testing is complete, and Google seems to have gathered quite a bit of information. The good news here is that this end likely signals another beginning. Now that Google has taken their turn, they will soon be able to hand off a final version of Chrome OS to their partner vendors. It's said that devices from Samsung and Acer are still on track for a launch in the middle of 2011, hopefully providing the first mass-market Chrome OS devices to consumers.

Little is known about what those devices will look like and feel like, but Google already set the bar high with the CR-48. Hopefully those future products will give the Fusion platform from AMD and Intel's Atom platform a run for their respective dollars. We need some serious competition in the netbook / low-cost laptop space, and who better to provide that than Acer and Samsung (courtesy of Google)?