Google OS Close to Release, Offers Free Netbook

Dennis Faas's picture

Google's Chrome OS (operating system) moved one step closer to wider release on Tuesday. At a press conference in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed the company's new pilot program for the OS along with a Chrome Web Store for purchasing applications.

"With Chrome OS, we have the development of a viable third choice for the desktop," announced Schmidt, referring to the widespread use to this point of Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows and Apple's cult-favorite Mac OS. He apparently thought Linux not worth mentioning. (Source:

Chrome OS Summer 2011 Release Rumored

It's still not known exactly when the final version of Chrome OS will reach web users. However, experts speculate it should be sometime next summer, around the same time PC makers Acer and Samsung release netbooks specifically designed to run Chrome OS.

Google's pilot program is a step in the right direction. The search giant will release special hardware using the new operating system to pre-selected testers. Those lucky enough to be a part of the program will be shipped a free-of-charge Chrome OS netbook specially commissioned by Google called Cr-48. It means Chrome OS is at a stage where it's ready for rigorous experimentation. (Source:

Google Chrome Pilot Program Open to Anyone

There's still time for interested consumers to take part in the testing. Google is encouraging those who want to help out (and receive a free netbook at the same time) to submit a YouTube video explaining why they think they deserve to be a part of Chrome OS history.

For those who aren't familiar with Chrome OS, Google is building it for basic usability and speed -- in a way, it's an operating system that truly compliments the desired user experience of netbook owners. Google says its OS will one-up competitors when it comes to startup and software installation times while also maximizing security.

It will also be heavily reliant on Google's wide range of free cloud applications (as opposed to Microsoft Office), such as spreadsheet program Google Docs. Because the web is such a central part of the Chrome OS experience, Google has reached an agreement with Verizon to offer cellular service to Chrome OS netbook users.

"[Rethinking] the personal computing experience for the modern Web [and] ... that is what Chrome OS is about," said Google executive Sundar Pichai in a presentation Tuesday. "Chrome OS is nothing but the web [with] Chrome running on hardware directly." (Source:

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