Ina Fried

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More Intel Chromebooks Coming From Acer, Toshiba, HP and Asus

Asus and Toshiba are joining the Chrome OS fray, with Intel announcing on Wednesday a fresh crop of laptops and desktops running the Google operating system.

New Chromebooks-feature

HP and Acer are also doing new Chromebooks based on Intel’s Haswell chip, which offers significantly better battery life than past Intel chips.

Google said that 5,000 schools have started using Chromebooks, representing 20 percent of U.S. school districts. It also cites NPD stats that show Chromebooks making up roughly a quarter of the sub-$300 computer market.

Google’s Sundar Pichai appeared onstage at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, touting the new models.

“I think they will be hugely disruptive,” Pichai said.

He also thanked Intel for its support of both Android and Chrome OS.

“We are seeing amazing momentum across both platforms,” Pichai said, noting that Google is activating more than 1.5 million Android devices per day, recently crossed the 1 billion activation mark and briefly mentioned the upcoming KitKat release of Android.

Earlier on Wednesday, Intel talked up the ability of Windows computers to hit new price points, promising that its new Bay Trail processors will pave the way for laptops as low as $199, touch laptops as low as $299, and tablet/laptop convertible machines starting at $349. Microsoft executive VP Tami Reller also spoke at the Intel Developer Forum, saying that the company saw a record number of Windows 8 units activated in August, suggesting that a back-to-school bump could finally be lifting the market.

Separately, Intel showed off a reference design for future Ultrabooks that will incorporate a 3-D camera, a la Microsoft’s Kinect.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik