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Posted by at 5:26 AM

Today, Google released the source code for Chrome OS and promised that devices will be shipping in about a year, in time for the 2010 holiday season. Chrome OS will run only on devices specifically manufactured for it and Google is dictating to manufacturers the hardware specifications.

For instance, Chrome OS devices will be netbooks, will not include a hard drive, will have only solid state disks, will rely on specified WiFi chipsets/adapters for connectivity and must have full-sized keyboards, says Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management.

Google demonstrated a prototype of Chrome OS yesterday and invited the open source community to participate in its development. (It is available here: Chrome OS is lauded by its makers as a completely new method of personal computing and it does have a number of features that are intriguing.

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