Want to quick start your PC? Ask Google how


Google gave the first public look at its Chrome OS four months after declaring its intention of developing the PC’s main software, a move that pits it directly against Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc.

True to Google’s Internet-pedigree, the Chrome OS resembles a Web browser more than it does a traditional computer operating system like Microsoft Windows, matching Google’s ambition to drive people to the Web — where they can see Google ads.

Google said the software will initially be available by the holiday season of 2010 on low-cost netbooks that meet Google’s hardware specifications, such as using only memory chips to store data instead of slower hard drives, the current standard. Netbooks running Chrome OS will only be able to run Web applications and the user’s data will automatically be stored on the Web in the so-called cloud of Internet servers, Google executives said at an event at the company’s Mountain View, California headquarters on Thursday.

“It’s basically a Web browsing machine,” said Altimeter Group analyst Charlene Li, referring to the netbooks powered by Chrome OS.

Such a machine is made for a world of near-constant, extremely fast Web connection, without the type of software that made Microsoft famous, since most of the work would be done by big machines on the Web which take directions and send information to relatively uncomplicated devices like a Chrome PC. Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management for Google’s Chrome OS, said that computers running Chrome OS will be able to start in less than seven seconds.
“From the time you press boot you want it to be like a TV: You turn it on and you should be on the Web using your applications,” Pichai said.

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