Home Report: Google Offering Chrome Notebook “Test Drives”

Report: Google Offering Chrome Notebook “Test Drives”

In case there was any doubt that today’s Google Chrome event would include the reveal of Google’s new notebook computers running its Web-based computer operating system, Google itself has begun advertising Chrome notebooks within its Chrome Web browser.

At the top of the “new tab” page in Chrome, Google asks Web surfers “Would you like to test drive a Chrome notebook?” Users could either click “Apply Now” or “Close” to dismiss the message.

This appears to be accidental, and the message is no longer showing.

This news comes to us by way of an unconfirmed report from ChromeStory.com, a Chrome-focused weblog. A reader had sent in the screenshot below:

The link “Apply Now” (?https://services.google.com/fb/forms/cr48basic/?referrer=cntp) goes to a rather nondescript page reading “Get your free Chrome sticker!” – clearly a separate promotion from any sort of Chrome notebook “test drive.” For what it’s worth, you can’t sign up for a free sticker, either – the page says “the form you are trying to access has either expired or reached its maximum registration limit.” However, the page was showing a stickers promo briefly, before defaulting to the expiration message, according to a blogger at www.guao.hk who was able to screenshot the stickers (and keychains, it appears) before the promo disappeared.

Interesting that the “referrer” in the URL is “cntp” – Chrome Notebook Promo, anyone?

?The reader credited with the tip goes by the name cDkPAEz, a regulartipsterat the originating blog. His name, incidentally, is also found on this Google Code user profile page, where a developer by the same name is listed. Assuming the user is one and the same, then it goes to reason that this person may have been using a developer version of the browser, as opposed to a stable or beta release.

These are all guesses, of course, but we thought it was worth sharing the news – because maybe one of you has seen the message, too, and can confirm?

In any event, for those who can’t make it to today’s Chrome event at 10 AM PST in San Francisco, Google will stream the event live via its YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/googlechrome. Tune in with us to find out more!

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