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Taiwan plays key role in Chromebook Pixel development, says Google Taiwan general manager
Updated:2013.06.26 Source:Digitimes Clicks:
Miranda Chuang, Taipei; Jackie Chang, DIGITIMES [Wednesday 26 June 2013]

Google runs a global Chrome OEM/ODM R&D center in Taiwan. According to Lee Feng Chien, general manager of Google Taiwan, the team in Taiwan is a major R&D team for developing Chromebook Pixel, besides the one at Google's headquarters. Chien added that the team in Taiwan designs software, production process, touch panel features, as well as the work flow at manufacturing plants and market planning.

The objective is to provide a better user experience and set an example for peers and strategic partners, similar to the Nexus series for smartphones, said Chien. Chien stated that currently there is no further information available about whether Google will launch next-generation Chromebook Pixels, as the model was just launched in February 2013.

Chromebook Pixel has yet to enter volume production. The product also has different screens, keyboards, and exterior designs compared to the products in the market. Hence the retail price has been relatively high. The product is aimed at high-end business users.

The Chromebook team comprises more than 40 engineers who write application programs, and a few hardware engineers. There are a total of 50 engineers in the team. Normally at Google, three people are assigned to one project. At the initial stage of developing the Android platform, the team only consisted of 30 people. The large number of participants in the Chromebook project shows that Google sees this product line as a long term one.

Chien stated that the main difference between Chromebook Pixel and the Chromebook by cooperating brands is that the former is the first Chromebook with touch features.

Chien disclosed the difficulties of making a touhc-enabled notebook because a lot of applications were not originally designed to support touch. In addition, to design browsers and internal applications based on the touch concept is a brand new challenge. Hence, for the Google Taiwan team, Pixel is seen as a milestone. This is also an opportunity for Taiwan-based industries, said Chien.