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Google and its partners among hardware manufacturers reportedly indicated that the first devices to feature Chrome OS would be available in the late second quarter of the year. Google reportedly works separately with netbook/notebook makers to implement the operating system (OS) so that to enable advanced and exclusive functionality on each one.

As expected, the first PC manufacturers to introduce systems featuring Google Chrome operating system will be Acer, Asustek Computer, Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics. The personal computers will feature 10" to 12" screens and will be based either on Intel Corp.'s Atom-based system-on-chip (SoC) or Nvidia Corp.'s Tegra 2 SoCs, according to DigiTimes web-site. Google works with each manufacturer in order to deliver "optimized experience", reports Pocket-lint web-site.

Google Chrome OS will only ship on "specific hardware following deals struck between Google and the manufacturers", which should allow them to ensure exclusive features and differentiators for their products. The Chromium OS (the open source development version of Google Chrome OS) will be available for the end-users, but this OS will not get similar level of support.

Pricing of Google Chrome-based laptops is expected to be between $250 and $600. There are reports that Acer's and Asusteks' netbooks will cost below $300, whereas Sony's model will be priced at $499.

Netbooks featuring Google Chrome operating system were originally projected to hit the market in 2010, but due to bugs in the OS and other issues were delayed. One analyst said in early 2010 that systems powered by the Chrome OS would be more expensive than typical netbooks featuring Intel Atom and Microsoft Windows since additional hardware (e.g., high performance graphics, accelerometers and other sensors) would increase the bill of materials.

“There's a serious challenge for Chrome, and I don't think people will like it. PC OEMs say the hardware requirements – still under NDA – will make the systems actually more expensive than a Windows device, yet they don't have anywhere near the applications support,” said Bob O'Donnell, vice president of client s and displays at IDC.

Tags: Google, Chrome, ASUS, Sony, Acer, Samsung, Tegra

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