So, we recently applied for the Google Cr-48 Testing Program. With luck, we’ll be approved. Besides years of experience beta testing operating systems such as OS/2 Warp (actual beta testing, not Microsoft’s version), as well as various server daemons, we’re deep into making platform agnostic cloud services that we expect the CR48 and Android/iOS devices should be well suited for. This opportunity will allow us the ability to beta test these devices, as well as test and tweak our services for these type devices in conjunction with our other target devices.
Besides our Star Trek Phase 2 projects, we have multiple projects for various Emergency Medical Services companies – all of which could benefit from a locked down device that could be used to access all of their soon-to-be cloud based services. We’ve already got much of the underlying platform in place and either being tested, or in use as individual components. One thing many of them are looking for is a NON-Windows solution, because honestly, securing Windows is an ongoing nightmare where zero day exploits can still bypass the best of security measures on devices that need to be connected to both the Internet and locked down servers.
We’ll keep you all posted on their decision, but with luck, all will go well and we’ll be writing about our experiences in the near future. Look for the potential writeups here and on the Star Trek Phase 2 Forums.
In the meantime, for those of you who wish to beta test the CR-48 in Google’s Pilot program, visit their CR-48 Pilot Program page and sign up now! You’ve got till December 21st to sign up. We’ve got no idea what chances you have of being accepted, but here’s a rundown of what we have found out so far (and our thoughts on some of it):
- Supposedly, 60,000 CR-48′s have been made. Various news/blog articles cite that number as the number of CR-48 test units being shipped. We’d tend to think it’s less than that being shipped, simply because we expect that the team involved in the Chrome OS and CR-48 projects will be given CR-48′s to test. We additionally suspect that Google’s other employees may also be offered an opportunity. Regardless, if the 60,000 figure is correct (and is in any way related to how many people will be accepted into the Pilot Program), that should leave a bunch shipping.
- Each unit will come with “free” 3G connectivity for two years via Verizon. Your 3G usage will be free for up to 100MB per month during that time frame. After that, you will be paying for additional data usage.Since this laptop supports 802.11N, and should remember your wireless login information, it is advisable to ensure you have it auto-connect to your wireless router(s) as much as possible, and/or look into an upgraded data plan via Verizon (note, the upgraded plans are NOT free).
- Google is apparently shipping these via UPS Next Day Air or UPS Ground (if the CR-48 Tracker page is any indication).
- If you haven’t figured it out, there is a site online where you can check to see if a package from Google is being shipped to your city/state or zip code (click the link above). While it will not tell you if it’s being shipped to you, it will give you an idea of whether there are any being shipped to your city.
- Selling these are probably not a good idea. Nor should you buy one from eBay or elsewhere (unless you happen to be into buying stolen property – for at least the term of the Pilot Program, I’d assume Google owns the netbooks until they tell you otherwise).
- Don’t ask us how to improve your chances of getting one. We haven’t gotten ours yet (nor do we know if we are getting one), so, we don’t have an answer to that question. We would suggest detailed answers to the questions on their signup form, and perhaps, if you have the time and capabilities, create a video that demonstrates why you should be selected.
- Shipping Update: It seems some people are reporting their laptops being delivered by FedEx or other services. If that’s the case for yours (assuming you are getting one), then the CR-48 Tracker link above will not be very useful to you.
Updated 12/13/2010 @ 19:06