Google nears Chrome OS launch

Google has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it is getting ready to go live with its Chrome OS machines, with a Q2 (possibly June) launch on the cards for several countries, including the UK.

The Big G is currently thrashing out retail deals with manufacturers and suppliers and our insider has told us that there has been a lot of testing going on at factory level with the likes of Samsung and Acer. The platform is described as being an "optimised experience" for netbooks and we can expect to see Wi-Fi and 3G options.

The idea is for Chrome OS to take on an Android-type ecosystem, with Google spreading its OS love over many devices from different brands.

Chrome OS will only ship on specific hardware following deals struck between Google and the manufacturers, although it is fully open-sourced and Chromium OS (the open source development version of Google Chrome OS) will be available as a disk image to turn any machine into a Chrome OS like model. It won't get the same support as the official Google version, however.

We've been told to expect devices in the US to cost between $250 and $600, although we have to stress that these are rough prices, and no actual RRPs have yet been set.

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