Curious: New Samsung Chromebook doesn't support Netflix [UPDATED]

New Samsung Chromebook Netflix

Google's new $249 Samsung Chromebook has a lot of good things going for it, but a curious omission has come to my attention:

The new Chromebook doesn't support video-streaming from Netflix. At least, not yet.

When you try to watch Netflix content from the new Chromebook, you receive the following error message:

Chromebook Netflix Error

This is particularly odd, as Netflix support for Chrome OS was lacking when the first commercial Chromebooks launched in 2011 -- and that's the same error message that would appear back then. Within a couple of months, Google announced it had resolved the issue; since that time, Netflix streaming on any Chrome OS device has been easy as pie.

Hulu, incidentally -- which also did not work in early versions of Chrome OS -- does work fine on the new Chromebook model.

Android Power Twitter

My best guess would be that there's some sort of compatibility issue at play, possibly with the new Chromebook's ARM-based chipset (which is a first for the platform). I'd certainly imagine that it's something Google and Netflix will work to correct soon. I've reached out to Google and will update this page if/when I get any additional information.

For the moment, though, if you get the new Chromebook, know that you won't be getting Netflix -- not yet, anyway.

UPDATE: It sounds like this is, in fact, an issue specific to compatibility with the new Chromebook's hardware. (See also Kevin Tofel's related discovery at GigaOm.) A Google spokesperson tells me the Chrome OS team is "working closely" with Netflix and anticipates having full support ready soon. All new Samsung Chromebook devices will automatically receive the necessary update once it becomes available.

FULL REVIEW: Hands-on with Google's $249 Samsung Chromebook

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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