How to become a beta tester for Google's Chrome notebook

Google's much talked about Chrome laptop is almost ready to conquer the web and the laps of people everywhere, but before you can run down to your local store and purchase one of the slick, black devices, Google is sending out a call for real users to test drive the machine.

"[W]e're launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses," says the internet giant in a December 7 blog post. "We're starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications."

To sign up to the pilot program and test Google's Cr-48 Chrome notebook, you must be a self-confessed web addict (over the age of 18) as there is no such thing as legacy PC software for the Cr-48 Chrome.

Google also warns, "[t]he Pilot program is not for the faint of heart" as the laptop may not always work as desired.   

If neither of those things phase you and you are ready to sign up, be prepared to provide Google with your name, address, and phone number. You will also have to spend about 15 minutes of your time answering a questionnaire about your browsing habits and technology preferences.

You will have to assure Google that the Cr-48 will become your primary computer and that you will provide the company with regular feedback about your experience with the device - oh, and don't forget to have a good reason why you would make a unique Pilot user that can be expressed in 140 characters or less.

The device will only be available to people who have signed up for the Pilot program, however future iterations will be available for sale from Acer and Samsung during the first half of 2011.

Additional manufacturers are already at work on their own Chrome OS devices in a range of different form factors and screen sizes. In the near future we may even start seeing a range of tablets, hybrid netbooks, and desktops running on Chrome OS.

To apply for the program or find out additional information before signing up visit
http://www.google.com/chromeos/pilot-program.html, and click on "Apply Now."

Applications close on December 21, 2010.

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