Google Inc. is introducing a new operating system based on Linux that initially will be tailored for use on low-cost, trimmed-down laptop computers.
So-called netbook computers that use Google's open-source Chrome OS should be available in the second half of 2010, the company says. Eventually, the OS could power a variety of devices, including desktop PCs, the company says.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search engine giant is touting its Chrome OS as an extension of its Google Chrome browser, launched nine months ago.
Numerous media reports portrayed Chrome OS as a potential competitor to Microsofts Windows operating system. It apparently will be a direct challenge to Microsofts Windows 7, a new operating system, due to be introduced later this year, thats designed for the entire range of computers.
Chrome OS is designed to support computers that access applications hosted remotely using the software-as-a-service model, also called cloud computing. All Web-based applications will automatically work on Chrome OS, Google claims.
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