Google gives preview of Chrome operating system

13:16, November 20, 2009      

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Google Inc. on Thursday offered the first glimpse of Chrome OS, a new personal computer operating system being developed by the Internet search giant.

While making demonstrations at an event held at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, Google vice president of product management Sundar Pichai said the Chrome OS will be available to consumers a year later.

He said Google will work with manufacturers to bring Chrome OS netbooks to the market before next year's holiday season.

According to Google, the netbooks or mini-laptop computers will have specified hardware components such as solid-state hard drives to create the fastest experience for the new operating system.

The company also announced that it is open-sourcing the code of Chrome OS from Thursday, saying "the code is free, accessible to anyone and open for contributions."

Google has touted speed, simplicity and security as the key aspects of the new software, which is seen as a move by the company to challenge Microsoft Corp.'s dominance in the operating system market.

In Thursday's demonstrations, Google engineers showed how the Chrome OS can start up a computer in seconds and perform various tasks in the web browser.

The Chrome OS represents a "fundamentally different model of computing," Google's group product manager Caesar Sengupta and engineering director Matt Papakipos wrote Thursday in a posting on the company's blog.

"All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs," they said.

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