Google launches Chrome-based notebooks

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New York, May 12: Internet search engine giant Google today (May 12) announced the launch of "Chromebooks", a Chrome operating system-based notebook PC that will be available online from June 15, in a move that could affect the market share of existing players like Microsoft and Apple.

Chromebooks made by Samsung and Acer will be available online from June 15 in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, Google Inc said, adding that more countries will follow in the coming months.

Chromebooks will be different from traditional notebooks. In a Chromebook, tasks such as installing software, running anti-virus checks and data back-up would be handled by the always-on cloud services offered by Google.

Cloud computing services can be broadly defined as virtual servers available over the Internet.

"These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook, you won't wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You'll be reading your email in seconds," Google said. Applications, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever the user is.

For the last two years Google has been advocating its Chrome operating system as an alternative to Microsoft Windows.

Some of the other features of Chromebooks include very long battery life, optional 3G -- whereby the user can use the web when there is a need -- and many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain.

Google also announced the launch of Chromebooks for business and education, for which monthly subscriptions will start at USD 28/user for businesses and USD 20/user for schools.

"Chromebooks bring you all of Chrome's speed, simplicity and security without the headaches of operating systems designed 20 to 30 years ago," Google said.

PTI

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