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Google uncloaks Chrome OS hardware pals

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Google has revealed at least some of the hardware manufacturers it's working with to design and build devices that run the much-discussed Google Chrome Operating System.

With a post to the official Chrome blog Wednesday afternoon, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory said its hardware partners include Acer, Asus, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba.

Google has said that the Chrome OS will initially run on netbooks. Acer and Asus were among the netbook trend setters, before HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba followed suit with their own models. Toshiba announced its first US netbook just last month.

No, the list did not include Dell, the world's second leading PC maker behind HP. But Google did add a well-known software outfit to the list: Adobe.

Google vp of product management Sundar Pichai and engineering director Linus Upson also made a point of saying that the Google Chrome Operating System - a Chrome browser paired with a Linux kernel and some hardware drivers - will be free. As if you needed to be told.

They did not mention all those ads the platform will carry.

In a departure from Google's initial Android project, the company says it will open source the Google Chrome Operating System later this year, well before hardware systems ship. According to Google, consumers won't have access to devices until the second half of 2010. ®

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