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Google Launching Chrome OS This Fall

As if on cue in light of recent talk that Google is kicking Windows to the curb, the search giant plans to release its Chrome operating system this fall. According to Google, the open-source software will be free and available to the general public. In a world that's relied heavily on Microsoft-based operating systems for over two decades, competing with Redmond is a huge task, especially for an OS that's based on a browser of the same name.

"We are working on bringing the device later this fall," said Google vice president of product management Sundar Pichai at Computex. "It's something which we are very excited by. We expect it to reach millions of users on day one." He did not provide an actual month or day of release.

Google is expected to initially target netbooks with the OS. After all, it's slated to be very lightweight and use web apps rather than locally-installed applications. However the company plans to release the OS for other platforms including tablets (which has already seen a commitment from Asus), desktops, and other devices.

Curious consumers already have access to previous builds of the OS, compiled and tweaked by various outfits including Hexxeh's Flow. This version includes HTML 5 and Flash support, user-customizable menus, battery life improvements, and even Nvidia GPU hardware support, offering 720p and 1080p video resolutions.