SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. is expected to provide a look at the first machines running on a new computer operating system revolving around its Chrome Web browser.
The Internet search leader plans to meet with reporters late Tuesday morning in San Francisco to discuss "some exciting news" about its Chrome Web browser, according to an invitation. No further details were provided, but speculation has centered on the Chrome operating system that Google has been building for the past 18 months.
The first lightweight laptops, or "netbooks," powered by the Chrome operating system are supposed to be available by the end of this year, leaving little time for the company to meet its deadline.
While Google has been designing its operating system, rival Apple Inc. unveiled its hot-selling iPad, a sleek computer tablet that is emerging as a more popular choice among consumers looking for inexpensive machines that are easy to carry.
Unlike most computers, the machines running on the Chrome OS won't be equipped with a hard drive and will require Internet access to run applications. Google is promising the Chrome software will run more quickly than Microsoft Corp.'s market-leading Windows operating system.
Google also may open a Web applications store offering programs designed to run on its Chrome browser. The company also has pledged to open the Chrome apps store by the end of the year.