Dell is throwing its hat in the ring as a provider of laptops based on Google's Chrome operating system, an executive for the computer maker said.
Google's Chrome operating system is a Web operating system Google is building to run on netbooks as an alternative to computers running traditional operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac.
Those machines take several seconds to boot up, or even minutes if they are older models, because they go through a number of data-checking procedures. Chrome OS is lightweight to speed users' access to the Web.
When Google unveiled Chrome OS last fall, the company said the platform would power netbooks from Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo this holiday season. Dell was not among the original computer makers mentioned.
But Amit Midha, Dell's president for Greater China and South Asia, told Reuters June 21 the company is looking at making computers on Chrome OS and Google's Android in the future.
"There are going to be unique innovations coming up in the marketplace in two, three years, with a new form of computing, we want to be on that forefront ... So with Chrome or Android or anything like that we want to be one of the leaders," Midha said.
Talks with Google on Chrome OS are underway, he added. Dell did not respond to eWEEK's request for more information June 21.
Dell has shown a willingness of late to branch out from its largely Windows OS-based lineup. The computer maker already offers the Mini 3 Android smartphone and is launching its Streak tablet/smartphone hybrid device in the United States in July after a roll out in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
But while Dell programmer adapted the OS to run on a Dell Mini laptop last November, this is the first time a Dell executive has publicly endorsed Chrome OS;
The news indicates interest in Chrome OS as a solution for netbooks, or even tablets, is peaking as the search engine prepares the platform for a holiday season launch later this year.
A Chrome engineer said the company is working on a Chromoting feature to let users access legacy applications, such as Microsoft Office, on existing Windows, Linux or Mac computers.
Google executives have also been hyping Google Cloud Print of late to assuage concerns about the ability for consumers to print from the cloud-based Chrome OS machines.