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Google readies Chrome OS by creating a stable branch

The smart money bets on a May launch
Mon Apr 18 2011, 10:24

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google is preparing Chrome OS for launch and has released a stable version of the operating system to developers.

Google's mythical Chrome OS has been in the works for quite a while, but the end appears to be near. The firm created a Stable Channel for Chrome OS last week. Stable Channel releases are the ones that will appear on devices and developers are now reporting that they can build Chrome OS from the stable channel. This is fueling speculation that Google will finally release the operating system at its Google I/O event in May.

Although Google has created a stable branch of its Chrome OS codebase, it is still not definite that it will chose Google I/O to release the operating system. However, the creation of a stable branch does show that Chrome OS is maturing and should be ready for release in the near future.

The development of Chrome OS has been protracted and unlike the firm's Android operating system, which has had numerous public releases that added features, Chrome OS has been kept under wraps. Google's decision to keep Chrome OS private for so long has been questioned, not only by those who believe Android and Chrome OS do very similar things but also by those who wonder if Chrome OS will arrive too late to make any impact.

With Google's Chrome OS nearing launch, the pressure is on to find hardware manufacturers to release devices running it that people actually want. There is a chance Google could follow the tactic it used with Android and partner with a device manufacturer to build a Chrome OS showcase product, which in the case of the HTC Nexus One served as a catalyst for Android adoption.

If Google does launch Chrome OS at Google I/O, consumers will be looking for both software and hardware. µ


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