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Google Provides a Peek at Chrome Operating System

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Google has provided a peek beneath the hood of its new Chrome operating system, making the software public and promising it will run netbooks by the end of next year.

The Google-crafted Chrome OS will be tailored exclusively for applications hosted as services in the Internet "cloud" and debut on low-cost bare-bones netbooks that have been a booming segment of the laptop computer market.

"We believe there is a better model of computing we can give users," vice president of Chrome OS Sundar Pichai said while demonstrating the in-progress software at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

"That is what Chrome OS is. Speed, simplicity and security. We want Google Chrome OS to be so blazingly fast, we think it should be like a TV — you turn it on and you are in the application."

Netbooks a priority

Google is working with computer makers to build Chrome OS into netbooks to be available in stores in time for holiday shopping at the end of 2010.

Chrome OS will only be available pre-loaded on netbooks that are compatible with the software, according to Mr Pichai.

"We are really focused on making a netbook that is lean and mean and runs the internet really well," Chrome OS engineering director Matt Papakipos said. Chrome OS will eventually expand to other computing devices, but the priority is to have it in netbooks within a year, according to Mr Pichai.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin brushed off questions about whether Chrome OS will challenge the long-time dominance of Microsoft Windows operating systems in the global computer market.

"Call us dumb businessmen, but we really focus on user needs rather than on strategies related to other businesses," Mr Brin said. "There is a real need to use computers easily. We believe the Web platform is a much simpler way."

Google has made the Chrome OS code available to outside developers so they could start crafting software or applications to work with the system.

The operating system builds on the Chrome Web browser, which has won more than 40 million users since it was released about a year ago, according to Mr Pichai.