Talking tech since 2003

Like many, I was excited when Google officially launched the long-awaited Chrome OS and began giving out CR-48 notebooks sporting the OS as part of their pilot program.  In fact, after Jeff posted the article about the hacked-together tracker in December, I was constantly checking to see if I had been lucky enough to be selected as a member for the pilot program.  But after Google randomized the tracking codes for the notebooks, the tracker became “indefinitely disabled”, and I personally forgot about it altogether.  And now, like many, I am still without a Chrome OS notebook.

While it is still isn’t apparent exactly how many Chrome OS notebooks have been shipped out thus far and how many are still destined for lucky owners, a new glimmer of light has presented itself for users who seem to have been left out of the pilot program.  You see, Google has now partnered with a handful of sellers in the up and coming Chrome Web Store in order to make even more Chrome OS notebooks available, increasing the odds that you might be selected.

In a post on the official Google Chrome blog, Heaven Kim – the product marketing manager at Google – explained the success that the Chrome Web Store has had so far and went on to list four (4) app publishers that the company had teamed with in order to promote both the Web Store and the CR-48 notebook.  While some participants such as online document service Zoho and online storage service Box.net simply require you to download their apps onto your Chrome browser and sign into their services to become eligible, LucidChart – a graph and flowchart creator – has put a bit of a twist in place by implementing a contest that will ultimately determine the winners.  It is important to note that you will have to resubmit your application for eligibility via the links provided by any of the third-parties you sign up with.  And even though this still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a Chrome OS notebook in your hands any time soon, it still gives you that much better of a chance.

While I think this new promotion is definitely good for prospective recipients, I have to give credit to Google for coming up with such a well-designed campaign.  You see, by integrating the Web Store into the drawing, they are pushing users to be more adventurous in trying web-based “cloud” solutions, and are ultimately preparing them for larger-scale implementations of Chrome OS down the road.  They’re also managing to promote two similar products – the Web Store and the notebook – at the same time.

What do you think?  Is this a clever campaign for Google?  Will you be trying your luck?  Let us know in the comments!


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