Google and Samsung to Announce First Chrome System at I/O?

I/O, Google's development conference, hits San Francisco next week, but don't expect any big Chrome OS announcements. Well, not technically, at least. Samsung and Google will be hosting an event as the conference is wrapping up on the evening of May 11th at a nearby location, reportedly to launch a new Chrome-powered netbook.

Google's Chrome operating system has been two years in the making and is currently only seen on CR-48 pilot laptops not sold to the public, but with Samsung as one of Google's hardware partners, it appears that is about to change.

Here's a run-down of what we think we know about the Samsung netbook and Chrome systems in general.

- As PC World reported earlier, the Samsung netbook is code-named "Alex." It is reportedly 10 inches with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Atom N550 processor and 2 GB of RAM, as well as a Qualcomm Gobi 2000 3G card, Bluetooth, WiFi, webcam, and Synaptics touch-pad.

- Google's Chrome systems will be designed to be swift, low-power affairs optimized for web surfing and cloud-based storage. There's also been talk of a subscription model in which Chrome systems are given away to users that agree to pay a 10-20 dollar a month fee.

- At least one other Chrome-powered system--from Acer--has also leaked recently.

- Under pressure from developers and enterprise users, the latest update of Chrome now includes a file explorer, as well as VPN support.

- Google claims Chrome notebooks will boot in ten seconds, resume from sleep instantly, and include all the goodies such as Flash support. A 3G package with Verizon wireless for Chrome systems includes 100 MB of free data per month.

- Google will likely push Chrome OS users to adopt its web apps over traditional software, much like the apps available for the Chrome browser, an extension of the concept that Chrome OS is primarily meant to take advantage of the cloud.

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