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Summary:

Nearly five months after it launched, Samsung’s $249 Chromebook gets Netflix. We knew this was coming but the surprising thing is that Microsoft helped out.

Samsung ARM Chromebook 3G

Owners of the $249 Samsung Chromebook have lived without Netflix since the device launched in October. That changes today as Google has announced support for Netflix on the device, with content delivered via HTML5. There’s no need to update the Chromebook; users can simply navigate to the Netflix website, login and start watching movies or television shows.

When I had first reviewed this Chromebook model, the lack of Netflix was a disappointment because all prior Chromebook models had Netflix support. One key difference in this particular netbook from Samsung was the chip architecture: It uses a Samsung Exynos chip, which is based on ARM. The other Chromebooks all use x86-based Intel chips.

It’s interesting that Netflix now just works. A Google spokesperson says the solution is the result of collaboration with Netflix and Microsoft. That’s surprising as the initial reason Google provided for the lack of Netflix on the Samsung dealt with a Chrome plug-in and Google’s Native Client efforts; neither of which Microsoft would likely have anything to do with.

Regardless of the solution’s implementation, it’s simply good news that there is a solution. So if you have a Samsung Chromebook, fire up Netflix and enjoy!

  1. Microsoft didn’t “help out” to get Netflix on ChromeOS. They collaborated with Google and Netflix to create the DRM for HTML5…and through HTML5 video with DRM, Netflix is now able to play on any browser that has implemented that HTML5 DRM (regardless of the OS underneath). The fact that that Netflix is now able to work on ChromeOS is just a consequence of having DRM on HTML5 video.

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    1. Ah, that explains the comment from Google then. Makes sense: thanks Lucian!

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  2. Any idea what the DRM solution was?

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    1. A new API.

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  3. This not only means Netflix will play on the ARM Chromebook, it means that Netflix can rewrite their code on Windows to eliminate Silverlight, which is a direction that conforms to Microsoft’s statement of direction that they will be moving away from Silverlight and toward HTML5.

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  4. Does this also mean Netflix for Linux?

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    1. Yes.. may not be soon but there is nothing preventing it anymore

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  5. Adam Greenblum Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    There goes another complaint about Chromebooks (lack of Netflix support) that Google has addressed. It just shows how serious they are about making the Chromebook a success.

    HTML5 technology can do a lot to make Chromebooks a more viable alternative. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Server or VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications (like MS Office) or even full desktops in a browser tab. So even if you purchase a Chromebook for casual home use, you can also use it to connect to your work applications if necessary.

    Click here for more information:
    http://www.ericom.com/RDPChromebook.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom

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  6. Justin Z. Jovic Sunday, May 5, 2013

    Cant someone just hack this into Ubuntu? Is it a matter of a special brower ID string?

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