Talks are under way between Google and Dell to bring Chrome OS, the search giant's cloud-centric operating system, to Dell's computer lineup, according to a Dell executive.
Dell wants to be "on the forefront" of "unique innovations" like Chrome OS that will hit store shelves in the next few years, Amit Midha Dell's president for greater China and South Asia recently told Reuters.
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No official announcements have been made by either Dell or Google, and despite the confirmation of talks by a Dell executive it's not clear when or if Dell would actually produce a Google Chrome OS-based computer.
Google recently announced that Chrome OS devices would be launched at some point between the fall and the end of the year.
Dell's interest in Chrome OS
When Google announced Chrome OS, the company said it was working with a number of technology firms to produce Chrome OS devices, including Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba. Dell, however, was notably absent from that list.
Nevertheless, the Texas-based manufacturer's interest in Chrome OS is hardly surprising. Shortly after Google announced Chrome OS in July 2009, Dell said it would consider testing Chrome OS for future products. Several months later, a Dell employee released a free download of Chromium OS for Dell Mini 10v computers on a company blog. Chromium OS is the open source project that Chrome OS is based on.
Chrome OS is essentially a version of Google's Chrome Web browser and a set of device-specific hardware drivers. Unlike full-featured operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X that primarily use desktop-based applications, Chrome OS is capable only of accessing the Web and Web-based applications like Google Docs or Microsoft's Office Web Apps.