When Google first announced Chrome OS, a cloud-focused operating system back in July last year, it all seemed a little too vague. Everyone knew that Google could do exactly this, if it wanted to, but the question was why they would want to. The company also said it was aiming to release Chrome OS by the end of 2010.
Now it looks as if this could indeed be happening. According to Chrome developer forums the current version of Chrome OS is labelled as a release candidate and a final version looks likely to be released by year-end.
In a statement published on the TechCrunch site Google said: “We are very happy with the progress of Google Chrome OS and expect devices will be available later this year. We’ll have more details to share at launch.”
Chrome OS is built around Google’s Chrome browser and is designed to offer services to users through a range of online applications, including GMail, Google Docs and other Google web services.
With evidence that Google is fast approaching a final release many other operating system developers will be watching closely.
When Google first launched Android (their mobile operating system) it was also greeted with scepticism, but in the couple of years since its launch Android has been met with unprecedented popularity and Android-based sales are now outperforming Apple’s iPhone in many regions. This is why competitors are no doubt taking Chrome OS very seriously.
Chrome OS is based on Linux and is an open source operating system designed with web applications in mind. The OS is lightweight and intended primarily for the netbook and tablet PC market.
Google has so far said that Chrome OS will not be generally released for download but will be shipped on specific hardware devices from its partners. The most likely partner at this point is HTC which was also Google’s partner for the Android launch. Already there are rumours in the market that HTC is planning on launching a Chrome OS-based tablet PC in late November.
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