Google Announces Chrome OS Hardware Partners

Google has released names of nine of its initial partners it has enlisted to develop and market its Chrome operating system to the masses as early as the second half of 2010.

Interestingly none of the listed names are mobile phone operators. Acer, Asus, Toshiba, HP and Lenovo - more than half of the partners - are computer manufacturers. Dell is the one missing Tier-1 laptop.desktop manufacturer from the list and told PC Pro that it "constantly assesses new technologies as part of managing our product development process and for consideration in future products."

Other companies include Freescale, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Now all three build ARM-based chipsets which are used in a number of smartphones. TI for example build chips for the Palm Pre while Qualcomm's Snapdragon are present in Smartbooks and Toshiba's TG01 smartphone.

Last on the list is Adobe whose presence certainly means that Flash will be bundled with Chrome OS at launch (ed: to watch all those Youtube videos) and possibly launch a slew of online, AIR-based applications.

The big name missing from the roll call is Intel which makes x86 processors which are found in almost all netbooks which Chrome OS, we understand, will target a launch. So has Intel boycotted the platform? Haven't they not been invited?

It is also very likely that some members of the Open Handset Alliance, which is the organisation behind Google's Android Platform, will express their interest to join the Chrome OS project.

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The other missing piece of the puzzle is whether google will use the expertise of a recognised Linux partner like Ubuntu or Redhat or will it go alone. It is understood that MSI, which manufactures netbooks as well, and Nvidia are currently evaluating Chrome OS.

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