Google unveils Chrome Web Store and updates Chrome OS plans

Google Cr-48 Chrome notebook

Google yesterday unveiled its new Chrome Web Store and provided an update on its upcoming Chrome operating system.

The Chrome Web Store will offer applications and browser extensions. It is very similar to other marketplaces like the Android Market and the Apple iOS App Store. The Chrome Store will be available only in the US initially but Google is planning to expand to additional countries and currencies “early next year.”

Google also announced that its Chrome operating system will not be out by the end of the year as it had originally hoped. Google is at a point where it will be looking for user feedback and is launching a pilot program (US only for now) whereby it will provide test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. Called the Cr-48, it will come with a 12.1-inch display, a full size keyboard and oversized touchpad, 3G connectivity from Verizon, 802.11 n Wi-Fi, and a webcam for video conferences. It is supposed to boot in about 10 seconds.

Google now expects that Chrome notebooks will go on sale in the first half of next year. It confirmed two manufacturers, Acer and Samsung, promising that more will be announced later. Different scree sizes and form factors are promised.

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