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Thu 9 Jul 2009 02:07 PM

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Google drops operating system bombshell

Google Chrome OS, due to launch in 2010, has been designed to take on Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft’s monopoly of the PC operating system market is about to be challenged by the company’s arch nemesis, Google.

Google Chrome OS, which will launch for netbooks (small, internet-ready laptops) by the middle of 2010 andl later be rolled out as a full desktop operating system, has been designed to take on Microsoft Windows.

A blog written by Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management and Linus Upson engineering director, says the operating system will be fast and lightweight, designed to “get you on the web in a few seconds”.

"Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS," Google’s official blog continued.

The operating system will be free and a “natural extension of its Chrome browser”.

The Google Chrome web browser is already gaining traction in the Middle East. Four percent of visitors to Arabianbusiness.com use the new browser, which has been available in Arabic for several months.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser now accounts for 75 percent of visits to this web site, down from 85 percent last year.

Microsoft Windows retains an almost complete monopoly of the operating system market, with 95 percent of visitors to Arabianbusiness.com using the software.

Google says that Microsoft’s solutions were designed in a different age – before the web had even been created. The company’s bloggers said their approach would be to go back to basics and rethink what operating systems should be like.

"We are completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work," the company says.

Both Microsoft and Google are converging on a world where applications and data will no longer reside entirely on personal hard drives. In the future, services will be accessed via web browsers, with files stored wherever it makes sense to the individual: on the desktop, on corporate servers, or outside the building in the Internet cloud.

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