Google I/O day 2: Chrome and the Web (live blog)

The second day of Google's developer conference focuses chiefly on Google's browser and Web-programming initiatives, along with the Chrome OS and Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer.

Editor's note: We used Cover It Live for this event, so if you missed the live blog, you can still replay it in the embedded component below. Replaying the event will give you all the live updates along with commentary from our readers and CNET reporters. For those of you who just want the updates, we've included them in regular text here. To get the key points from today's announcement, you can check out our summary of what got announced, in our story here .

Google I/O day one was about Android and music, but the second day should return to the conference's first-year theme: the Web as a foundation for applications.

Google loves the idea of programming on the Web: the more that people use Web apps, the more time they spend searching on Google and seeing search ads. It loves the idea so much it decided to release its own browser, Chrome, to try to accelerate browser development and give Web programmers a better platform for their apps.

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• Complete coverage: Google I/O

CNET will be live-blogging the keynote presentation starting at 9:30 a.m. PT to hear what Google has to say. Expect developments with Chrome, Google's reasonably successful browser; Chrome OS, its browser-based operating system; its Chrome Web Store for buying and finding Web apps; and its Web programming tools such as Google App Engine, Native Client, or Google Web Toolkit.

Chrome OS is the hardest sell. It was supposed to emerge last year for Netbooks, but Google only delivered a prototype for developers, and the software remains a work in progress. Chrome OS gets to draft off the huge market for Web apps that run on everybody's PCs, but it can't run native apps the way Android can.

A CNET team will be using the Cover It Live tool to live-blog the event, so tune in to hear what's coming.

Transcript of the live blog starts here:

9:30 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Vic Gundotra, SVP of engineering, takes the stage. We're live!

9:31 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Vic is reminding attendees about the 4G hot spot that Samsung and Verizon are giving away today.

9:32 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Lots of applause here from the fanboys who got free Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets yesterday. Coming with them: a Wi-Fi hot-spot widget from Verizon. Gundotra promises it won't work in the Google I/O keynote room.

9:33 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Gundotra, talking about the Web: It's a platform that's owned by none of us, so it's the only platform that truly belongs to all of us.

9:33 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Fun to hear Gundota, former Microsoftie, talk about something other than Windows being "the most important platform of this era."

9:33 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): So it's now Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome, on stage. "Chrome is the way we manifest the Web to our users." Coming news: Chrome, Chrome OS, Chrome Web Store.

9:34 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Last year, 70 million active users on Chrome. Now, 160 million.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome. James Martin/CNET

9:35 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Last year we were at Chrome 4. It was available only for Windows. With Chrome 6, we brought Chrome to Mac and Linux stable channel.

9:35 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Love the graphic showing current Chrome users, with the spinning numbers, building suspense, before settling on 160 million.

9:36 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): At that point, Google switched to a six-week release cycle to get features to Web developers sooner. We've been releasing every six weeks. This week, Chrome 12 entered beta. "The rate we are pushing the Web platform forward is amazing."

9:36 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "Speed is something near and dear to our heart." Yes. We know.

Chrome users now number around 160 million. James Martin/CNET

9:37 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Here comes the HTML5, etc., sales pitch. PIchai is happy other browsers are adding new features. Here comes Ian Ellison-Taylor, a platform developer leader for Chrome.

9:37 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Pichai is comparing API support among major browsers. All have some in one way or another, he says.

9:38 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Ellison-Taylor makes similar community pitch with Chrome that we heard yesterday with Android.

9:38 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Ellison-Taylor is amazed at the new features coming to browsers. First on his list: speech, a feature in Chrome 12.

9:39 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Here's a speech demo. Nonshockingly, he suggests using Chrome developer tools if you want to build support into your Web site. Of course, there's a "-webkit" prefix on this one because amazing as the speech input API is, it's not a standard.

9:39 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Ellison-Taylor is using Clicker for his demo. Clicker is a television search, discovery, and playback tool.

9:40 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "Never do live speech demos in a keynote. We're going to try anyway."

9:40 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "It works! Oh my gosh!" A little drama for us this morning in a search for Emma Caulfield on Clicker.

9:40 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Ellison-Taylor says if the speech demo goes awry (because of conference hall acoustics) at least it will be entertaining. Actually, it will be MORE entertaining.

A speech demo in Chrome. James Martin/CNET

9:41 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): The speech API is turned on in Chrome 13 dev.

9:42 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): My bad, Chrome 11 has the speech API: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-20057997-12.html

It's live and testable now. Check out that link for a CNET video on it.

9:42 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Google Translate from English into Chinese. "Welcome to San Francisco." We have a Chinese translation in text, and clicking the play button plays the Chinese speech in Chrome. Audience says the translation is correct. "I was afraid I was going to insult somebody's mother."

A Google Translate demonstration. James Martin/CNET

9:42 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): On to JavaScript.

9:43 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "JavaScript performance has fundamentally changed the kind of things you can do on the Web." Very true.

9:43 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now onto the JavaScript speed tests. JavaScript is really important for browser speed, but it's only one attribute. And "it's no longer the bottleneck it used to be." Google focusing on other areas now, including graphics, GPU acceleration.

9:43 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): I'd like to note that Microsoft, with IE9, helped really catalyze graphics hardware acceleration for browsers. Google's been adding it, but they're not in the lead here.

9:44 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "A level up from CSS in terms of capability is canvas 2D."

9:44 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Now showing a "sprite" demo using IE's Fish Tank demo.

9:44 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Demo of sprite animation: moving little things around the screen, like aliens' spaceships in a video game. Now we're seeing Microsoft's FishIE demo, which has been a sore spot for Chrome.

9:45 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Get ready. Taking a swipe at Microsoft and its fish tank demo.

9:45 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Got to say, the fish movement doesn't really look all that fishlike. They're moving in straight lines.

9:45 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): New Chrome 10x improvement over where we were with hardware-accelerated Canvas 2D, he says.

9:46 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): E-T showing the impact that WebGL has on performance. 10x faster, he says.

Microsoft's FishIE demo. CNET

9:46 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): 10,000 fish, still showing 30 frames per second in the sprite animation using WebGL, a technology that Microsoft has *not* put in IE. Basically, Google rewrote the benchmark to use faster technology and get another 10x improvement.

9:47 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): WebGL is for 3D graphics on the Web, but it's good for sprite animation in 2D, too.

Inherent 3D support onTinkerCad. CNET

9:47 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Showing inherent 3D support on TinkerCad.com.

9:48 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): TinkerCad demo: create 3D models in a browser, send them to a 3D printer. Neat, but it looks more like demoware than a mass-market tool.

9:48 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Still, hard to tell how good it is without the specs on the computer. 3GB of RAM will make a massive difference over half that.

9:48 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now back to Sundar Pichai. "If you're writing a game six months ago, if you can now write it in WebGL, it's going to be about 100 times faster. That's the pace at which the Web is evolving."

9:48 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): And now: the Chrome Web Store.

9:49 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Chrome Web Store coming up now. In first 3 months, 70 million applications installed.

9:49 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): 2x more time spent in app, 2.5x more transactions in games.

9:49 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): People spend a lot more time in their apps when they install from the Web stores--2x increase, according to Springpad and others. Games, 2.5x increase in "transactions."

9:50 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Chrome Web Store, 41 languages now, available to all Chrome users. That means bigger reach.

Chrome Web Store, in 41 languages now, is available to all Chrome users. James Martin/CNET

9:50 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): We want to make sure you can monetize your applications. We offer the ability to charge for your applications. But "it's very tough to charge users in your applications without breaking the flow."

9:50 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Pichai discussing Chrome Web Store monetization, "seamless payment experience."

9:50 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Vikas Gupta, product manager from Google team, speaking now.

9:51 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): So now we're getting in-app payments for Chrome apps. "So users can stay engaged while they make a purchase."

9:51 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Graphic.ly comics app being used for demo.

9:52 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Google delivering it at "Google scale," deliver to "every user on the Web." Graphic.ly comics app gets the demo: browse, read graphic novels on the Web.

9:52 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): I know there are some who prefer ComiXology, but honestly I find them to be about the same.

9:52 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Comic books and graphic novels in the demo. Google knows its I/O audience.

9:52 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Start reading the comic book free, once the reader is hooked, give them the option to activate the purchase. With a single click, the user initiates the purchase, with a second, they make the purchase, then they're back in the app. Developers can integrate the feature with a single line of code.

The Graphic.ly comics app used in a demonstration. CNET

9:53 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Not mentioned: Google has to get people to sign up for Google Checkout for this to work, and that's a competitive weakness.

In-app payments for Chrome apps. James Martin/CNET

9:54 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): A little ding at Apple's 30 percent fee for purchases. Google's offering a flat fee of 5 percent. The crowd goes wild.

9:54 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Wow. That's sticking it to Apple.

9:54 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Of course, we're talking Web apps, not mobile apps.

9:55 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): No fixed fees, monthly fees, sign-up fees, or licensing fees. "Of the fees, 95 percent stays with you," he tells developers. How many people have actually bought a Web app, though?

9:55 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Gupta says with the 5 percent, he'll do the math, 95 percent stays "with you." Good thing they've hired so many polymaths.

9:55 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Angry Birds demo. Yay!

9:55 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Sundar Pichai on stage again. Oh, heavens, another Angry Birds demo, this time on the Web. Hasn't this game jumped the shark yet?

9:56 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): I am the last man on earth to not play Angry Birds.

9:56 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): I could go for some roast squab right about now, though...

9:56 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Rovio Mobile guy: "We didn't want to compromise on performance. We haven't been able to bring this to the Web. It hasn't been possible until today. We are bringing Angry Birds to the biggest platform out there, the Web."

9:57 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Angry Birds on the Web. And the crowd goes wild. Kinda.

9:58 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): It's still in beta, it looks like. What browsers will it work on besides Chrome? Is this the whole Web or just a subset seen through Google's browser? I'm sure it'll be standard later, but advanced Web apps with high-end graphics is tough in a browser.

9:59 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Hardware acceleration not required to play Web-based Angry Birds.

9:59 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): But it sure would help.

9:59 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): It's built using WebGL. "If your browser doesn't support WebGL, we also support Canvas." That means IE9. "If you don't have hardware acceleration, we have a fallback so you can still play the game."

9:59 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): AppCache so you can play the complete game offline.

9:59 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Gartner's Michael Gartenberg (sitting behind me) tweets about Angry Birds on the Web:."#thedaythewebjumpedtheshark."

10:00 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "We think Chrome is a great environment for Angry Birds. We didn't want to stop there. We wanted to offer a special treat only for users of Chrome."

10:00 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): So, Angry Birds will work in any browser.

10:00 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Angry Birds will have Chrome-only levels, though.

10:01 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Special exclusive: "Chrome Dimension." Chrome rocks, flowers, and other tidbits to smash through. And Chrome bombs to drop on the pigs.

Angry Birds in Chrome has some special features. James Martin/CNET

10:01 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Rovio mobile guy's Angry Birds sweatshirt kinda looks like him.

10:02 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "We're all for lower taxes, and 5 percent is fair." To compensate, Mighty Eagle comes to Chrome once in-app payments arrive. (That's the character that blasts the pigs to smithereens, for a small fee each time it's used.)

10:02 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Angry Birds on the Web was written with the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), and is hosted on Google App Engine.

10:03 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "Let's pop some pigs."

10:03 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): That was worse than yesterday's breakaway pants.

10:03 a.m. PT (Maggie Reardon): That was Peter Vesterbacka, head of Rovio on the stage.

10:04 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Sundar Pichai: "I think my kids will think I'm finally doing something useful. I'm going to be buying a lot of Mighty Eagles."

10:05 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): New interactive music experience, following last year's Arcade Fire "Wilderness."

10:05 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Note however that WebGL faces security challenges. Yesterdays' story about it: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20061103-264.html

10:06 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): New thing is called "Three Stages of Black."

10:06 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Music app called Three Stages of Black. I thought Apple cornered the market on black.

10:06 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "I'm literally painting with geometry."

10:06 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Demo from Aaron Koblin--tour of a 3D world with Arcade Fire soundtrack. Urban, now prairie. Collision detection to keep animated animals from overlapping.

10:07 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): There's user-generated content to build your own models in the virtual world.

10:08 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Was built with 3.js

10:08 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Bear that morphs into a horse, buffalo that morphs into a tarantula. 3.js library by developer Mr. Doob.

10:08 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): This is a major WebGL push. Could wind up being as big as the JavaScript push that started in '08 with Chrome release.

10:09 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): OK, now we're back to Sundar Pichai for Chrome OS news.

10:09 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Pichai: "It turns out this is what people do on their computers today, spend all the time on the Web."

10:10 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): The pitch: scrap the legacy junk in PCs. BIOS, hardware detection, antivirus. "Some computers even still check for a floppy drive." You have to back up your data.

10:10 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Pichai says if you want to upgrade your PC, "it takes the entire weekend to do that."

10:10 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): We wanted to distill it down to nothing but the Web. Different form factors. Here's the notebook part. "We call those Chromebooks."

10:10 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Interesting idea, that legacy code and behaviors hinder backup habits.

10:11 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Looks like the Netbook idea for Chrome OS is dead.

Sundar Pichai: 'It turns out this is what people do on their computers today, spend all the time on the Web.' James Martin/CNET

10:11 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "Every time you boot up, you're up and running within 8 seconds."

10:11 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Built-in connectivity options. Pay-as-you-go pricing, monthly or day pass. "You can be always connected."

10:11 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Start a Chromebook and you're on the Web.

10:12 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "All-day battery life" bold claim.

10:12 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Will you get all-day battery life playing Angry Birds?

Google introduces the Chromebook. CNET

10:12 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Multiple Chromebooks: each time you open, you get the latest version of the Web app. It gets better over time. Compare to PCs, where applications "slowly start degrading over time."

10:13 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Chromebooks get updated every few weeks, just like Chrome. The auto-update era manifested at the OS level. I guess the carriers won't be getting in the way like they do with Android?

10:13 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Status report on Cr-48 Chromebook pilot program--1 million applicants.

10:14 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "We have shipped thousands of devices in U.S. and internationally."

10:14 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Who's been "vocal" about Cr-48? I haven't heard a peep since they first arrived.

10:14 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Did they really just promote the platform by saying that you get the latest and greatest version of Web apps each time you fire up your machine? Isn't that the very nature of Web apps?

10:14 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Worked with Adobe for Flash. Intel upgrade to dual-core processor.

10:15 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now Kan Liu for a demo. (He's the guy who flailed at Angry Birds Web demo.)

10:15 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Kan Liu talking Chrome file structure.

10:15 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): File demo: save a file for later use. He's downloading an attachment in Gmail. "If I want to get back to it, I have to open the new file manager."

10:16 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): The file manager is accessible through a browser tab. I thought I had a browser tab overload problem without the entire operating system being in there!

10:16 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): There's a preview pane in the file browser, although Liu moved too quickly for anything to appear. Not sure if previews work.

10:17 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now he's playing a song with the media player. Now playing a video. At the top of the browser window is the usual hierarchical list of folders so you know where you are.

10:17 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "Who doesn't like potato guns, right?"

Kan Liu talking Chrome file structure. James Martin/CNET

10:17 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Full-screen video, too.

10:17 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Liu is playing music off a USB drive with "some of my favorite music." Justin Bieber is on there. Really?

10:18 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Streaming video, of course, is a big deal for the company that runs YouTube (and now rents movies over it). So yes, streaming is possible, including Hulu and Netflix, and Pandora and Mog.

10:18 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Phew, at least there's some Train on there too.

10:18 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Bieber and Earth Wind & Fire. Googlers' musical tastes leave much to be desired.

10:18 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Yeah, Seth--and they Rickrolled us at the press reception last night with the party soundtrack.

10:19 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Liu showing photos of his new daughter with "some of his friends." About 5,000 of them.

10:19 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): Angry Birds on the Chrome Web Store. Free of charge.

10:19 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now we have an SD card plugged in. The photos arrive--just the filenames, though. To see thumbnails, you have to click on the filenames.

10:19 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): *I* was writing. *You* got Rickrolled.

10:19 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Preview pane does work with photos.

10:20 a.m. PT (Rafe Needleman): Poor guy doing Chromebook file manager demo is competing with Angry Birds in the Web store. Tough to go up against. BTW, link is http://bit.ly/jQSfZy

10:20 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): You can of course upload your photos to Picasa Web Albums. This is a Web-app device, after all. I'd hope there will be file handlers at some point to get photos to SmugMug, Flickr, or whatever.

In Chrome file manager, you can upload photos to Picasa. James Martin/CNET

10:21 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Now on to Google Docs, Google's premiere cloud-computing service. Click a filename, click upload, and it's in the cloud.

10:21 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Working with Box.net so their users can seamlessly upload their documents. Click a button, and "Bam, it's in the cloud already." Will work with Dropbox, too, later.

10:22 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Using Box.net for external USB drive demo.

10:22 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Liu shows how it's working with Box.net for quick upload. Wonder if they're working with Windows Live SkyDrive. I think I know the answer.

10:22 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Google wants to register Web apps so they can handle local files. That'll be a neat trick, and potentially useful well beyond Chrome OS, too.

10:23 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Pinchai now talking about making Chromebooks available offline.

10:23 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Offline Docs, back again. Available for Chromebook users this summer. This is a huge necessity for Web apps and a major flaw with Google Apps today.

10:24 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Gmail, G Calendar, Docs will work offline by this summer.

10:24 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Offline apps that work on Chromebooks--NY Times, Salon, USA Today, Sports Illustrated.

10:24 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): In December, partners were Acer, Intel, Samsung, and Verizon. Who'll be on the new list?

10:24 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): First Chromebook is from Samsung.

10:25 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): 8-second boot, instant on, 12.1-inch display, 8-hour battery.

10:25 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): and that claim about "all-day" battery again.

10:25 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Comes in Wi-Fi or built-in 3G option. Verizon in U.S., other carriers internationally.

10:25 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Samsung laptop "available in two colors"--a bit of snark there.

Samsung Chromebook. James Martin/CNET

10:26 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Second Chromebook from Acer: much more portable. 11.6-inch screen, full HD display, full-size keyboard. Available in Wi-Fi and 3G versions.

The Acer Chromebook CNET

10:26 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Google holding back on details for Samsung's event tonight.

10:26 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Samsung $429 for Wi-Fi options, $499 with 3G. Acer $349 and up.

10:26 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Available June 15.

10:26 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Both of them have big trackpads with no buttons, like a MacBook.

10:27 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Amazon, Best Buy selling in U.S.

10:27 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Also: Netherlands, Germany, France, U.K., Italy, and Spain.

10:27 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Pixmania.com, laptopshop.nl, Amazon will be selling internationally.

10:27 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): "These devices have full jailbreaking mode built in."

10:27 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Just like the Cr-48.

10:28 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): The developer crowd loves the jailbreaking option.

Chromebooks will be available June 15. James Martin/CNET

10:28 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): The alternative to Chrome OS apparently is Windows XP, not a modern operating system. I beg to differ, though it is an OS a lot of IT admins are upgrading from.

10:29 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): We're getting the Gartner-esque total cost of ownership sales pitch now. Chrome OS is cheaper to manage, Pichai says.

10:30 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Citrix and VMware partnerships, so main apps are available through the browser via virtualization.

10:30 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): My experience with the Cr-48 matched many others: Interesting idea, but weak hardware made it difficult to effectively test.

10:30 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): InterContinental Hotels have been pilot-testing Chromebooks. Also Jason's Deli.

10:31 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): City of Orlando, Fla. ("The City Beautiful," says their logo), also has been trying them.

10:31 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): A lot of tweeting going on that Chromebooks are priced too high.

10:31 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): 400 companies surveyed: With Web apps and desktop virtualization, Chrome OS covers 75 percent of the users.

10:32 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Chromebox announced.

10:32 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Looks like a cross between a Mac Mini and an iPhone 4, but from Samsung.

10:32 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): The device is only one part of the cost. Most expenses are in management and administration. IT admins can centrally manage Chromebooks.

10:32 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): For those of you who were around a decade ago, this is the desktop Linux sales pitch.

Introducing the Chromebox. James Martin/CNET

10:33 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): You get Chromebooks, Web console for management, support, warranty, replacements if something breaks, and hardware auto-updates. $28 per user per month. "Software and hardware as a service."

10:33 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Chromebox for enterprise, $28 per user.

10:34 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Cheaper for schools: priced $20 per user per month.

10:34 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Starting June 15, available for companies, schools, and governments. Available from Google in the same seven countries as the consumer version.

10:35 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "You can do everything on the Web," asserts the promo video.

10:35 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Getting the Chrometop/box hard sell.

10:36 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Video: No desktop. "No rolling hills of green."

10:36 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Audience loves the video's potshot at the green grassy hill desktop background of Windows XP.

10:36 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Google advises not throwing your Chrometop/box in a river.

10:36 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "It is a new thought." says the video. "Ready when you are."

10:37 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): "We think users are really ready for this," says optimistic Sundar Pichai.

10:37 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Freebie Chromebooks?

10:37 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Pichai can't even get the words out before folks go crazy.

10:37 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): That's another 5,000 hardware devices going to Google I/O attendees along with yesterday's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

10:38 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): Google I/O attendees get them free, but not early: June 15, just like the lesser beings not at this show.

10:38 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): That's it for the show--"The Web is what you make of it," declares Pichai at the end.

10:41 a.m. PT (Seth Rosenblatt): Signing off to check out the follow-up press conference. Thanks all for joining!

10:42 a.m. PT (Josh Lowensohn): A big thanks for joining us everyone. To recap:

--Chrome now has 160 million active users.
--The Chrome Web Store is now available in 41 languages, and more countries.
--Google detailed its in-app payment system for Chrome Web Apps, giving developers 95 percent of sale price, with Google taking 5 percent.
--Angry Birds is now on the Chrome Web Store.
--New Chromebooks are on the way, and will be here in the middle of June.
--Google unveiled a subscription program for businesses and schools to get Chromebooks.

10:42 a.m. PT (Jay Greene): Joining Seth in the presser. Thanks for joining the live blog.

10:42 a.m. PT (Stephen Shankland): OK, folks, that's it for today's keynote presentation. We're going to wrap it up here and see what Google has to say in the press Q&A. Thanks for joining us!

 

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