Google made two big announcements last week. The one that got the most attention was its accidental release of quarterly financial results hours before markets closed, with a space for comment from CEO Larry Page reading: “Pending Larry Quote.” The less-than-stellar numbers included sent Google’s stock falling nine per cent.
Google’s other news was mostly overlooked amidst the earnings embarrassment, but is likely to have a bigger long-term impact. It released a $250 laptop, the Chromebook. The ultra-cheap computer (made by Samsung and running Google’s Chrome operating system) is described in a punk-rock-themed ad as the laptop “for everyone”—a family- and student-friendly alternative to tablets like the iPad that cost closer to $600. It’s not just hated rival Apple that Google has its sights on. The Chromebook comes out just as Microsoft is set to release a critical overhaul of Windows and its Surface tablet.