Internet giant Google's Chromebook, the much-celebrated mobile device tailor-made for Web browsing and running on its Chrome Operating System, is likely to be shipped in India by early 2012.
Speaking to presspersons at an interaction here, Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president, Chrome and Apps, Google, said: “I would be very surprised if Chromebooks are not shipped in India by early 2012. We see India as a huge potential market for us,” he said. Chrome, he pointed out, is very popular on laptops, where 98 per cent of the time is spent browsing, and, hence, he believes it was natural for them to take the next step: build an OS to bring the full power of the Web to users in a fast, simple and more secure package. In October 2011, Chrome overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in India.
Chromebook first began shipping globally in June with the devices being manufactured by Acer and Samsung.
Mr. Pichai, who leads the product management and innovation efforts for Google's consumer products including Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail and Google Docs, says the user experience is key.
He added that over time there will be more hardware partners.
On Google Plus, and the company's failed foray into the social media space with Buzz, Mr. Pichai said that it was “all part of the journey”. “We understood more about privacy and related implications through Google Buzz,” he said, pointing out that features on Plus such as ‘hangouts' and ‘circles' were products of this understanding. “Yes, there would not have been a Google Plus without Google Buzz.”
Google has around 2,000 employees working in India in offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore, with sales and marketing teams in Gurgaon and Mumbai. Mr. Pichai said the teams here were extremely talented and focussed on innovation, with a lot of technologists working keenly on the application feature suite here.
Besides Google's Chrome and Chromebook, Mr. Pichai said that there is a huge e-commerce market in India that remains to be tapped.
“I found that online transactions are cumbersome and not at all easy,” he said, comparing this to the “seamless, easy” experience abroad, and the even smoother experience he had with Google Wallet while making simple grocery payments in the United States. A product like Google Wallet can take online money and transactions here to a different level, he added.
Keywords: Google Chrome