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Lenovo Joins Chrome OS Party with Laptop for Schools

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 12:32pm
CNET

Google got a big new ally in its Chrome OS push today: Lenovo, the No. 2 PC maker.

Although Lenovo is a notable ally, it's only really a foot in the door for Google. Lenovo's new ThinkPad X131e Chromebook is only geared for schools. Presumably it could lead to greater things for Google if the device gets a good reception, but this shouldn't be confused with Lenovo pushing a mainstream device the way the two existing Chrome OS partners, Acer and Samsung, have done.

It's not clear whether Lenovo has grander ambitions for Chrome OS, something that might cause alarm at Microsoft since it threatens both Windows and Office. Lenovo didn't respond to a request for comment on its plans but we'll update this story if it does.

Other Chrome OS devices are in the works, judging by code names for hardware platforms surfacing in the software's source code and issue tracker. Francois Beaufort, who pores through those sources, said yesterday that Lenovo has been working on a Chrome OS device code-named Stout. He also said another device in the works, called Kiev, is a Chromebox from Acer. So far only Samsung has shipped a Chromebox, a standalone PC that lacks a Chromebook's built-in keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

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