Chrome OS Will Likely Include Netflix Support

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Now that the Google I/O conference for developers is just a day away, speculation as to what will be revealed in San Francisco this week is reaching a fever pitch.

Details on the next Android release--to be called Ice Cream Sandwich, I've heard--seems a likely bet, as does at least a glimpse at some of the first commercially available hardware to be running Google's Chrome OS.

If indeed such hardware does debut, there's a good chance we'll see some exciting new features in Chrome OS. A file explorer and VPN support were recently added, but of particular note to anyone who has tested out the Linux-based operating system so far is that--according to some recent reports--Netflix support will probably be included.

An Official Netflix Plug-in

Linux users have long lamented the lack of Netflix support for the free and open source operating system, and Chrome OS has thus far suffered the same shortcoming. Requests for that feature, in fact, are common on forums for users of Google's experimental CR-48 Chrome OS-powered notebook computer.

Now, however, several reports are suggesting that official Netflix support is on the way to Chrome OS via a Netflix plug-in.

Included in a recent Chrome OS code review, in fact, is a line reading, "Update netflix version in chromeos plugin check," as Chrome Story pointed out on Saturday.

"This plugin check is included in all devices including Alex, but not on CR48 ( Was that a step to keep that from leaking ?)," the site reported. "This plugin is now part of the few included in Chrome OS, PDF, Google Talk plugin etc."

Early Indications

Reports from as early as February suggest that Netflix has been working on Chrome OS support for some time.

"Dear Chrome Pilot User: Streaming is not currently supported on your device," read a letter that was reportedly sent from Netflix to early testers of the operating system. "We're working with Google to ensure that Chrome Notebook users can instantly watch TV shows and movies from Netflix. More details will be announced in the coming months."

So, it's looking pretty likely that Netflix support really is on the way. This can only come as music to the ears of current and future users of Google's open source operating system. For Linux users, meanwhile, it could provide a long-awaited way to enjoy Netflix at last.

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