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Schmidt: Google Chrome OS 'a few months away'

Android Gingerbread 'weeks away'

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Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available "in the next few months" — which may be an indication that the company's browser-based operating system has been delayed.

Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the "a few months away" line at this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was "a few weeks away."

Asked whether Chrome OS would be available on tablets as well as netbooks, Schmidt played that typically disingenuous Google open source card. "It's open source, so it will be available on everything," he said. But he did indicate that Google's official efforts are still concerned primarily with netbooks. "The design center is focused on netbooks," he said.

Asked to explain the difference between Chrome OS and Android, Schmidt said the world should view Chrome OS as an extension of Chrome — as if we would see it as anything else. He said that whereas Android solutions "seemed to be optimized for solutions that involve touch in some way," Chrome OS "seemed to be" suited for "keyboard-based solutions."

Previously, rumors had pointed to delays in the development of Google's Chrome Web Store, an important part of Chrome OS, which seeks to put all your apps into your web browser. Chrome OS is essentially Chrome running on a Goobuntu flavor of Linux. ®

Update: This story has been updated to note that Eric Schmidt said that Chrome OS will be used for "keyboard-based solutions."

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