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Dell releases experimental Chrome OS for netbooks

Engineers at PC maker Dell have released an unofficial version of Google's Chrome operating system for Dell's Mini 10v netbooks.

Google Chrome OS is still a year away from its release on commercial machines, but Google last week released an early open source snapshot of code called Chromium OS.

Based on Google's Chrome web browser, Chrome OS does not run native applications and works only with solid state drives.

Dell is not an official Chrome OS partner, but Dell technology strategist Doug Anson announced in a blog posting that he and some colleagues had succeeded in getting Chrome OS to run on a Mini 10v.

Anson provides a link to a working image of a USB key loaded with ChromiumOS.

"I have made a best effort attempt to get the Broadcom Wi-Fi adapter working in this image. It us definitely not perfect (read: highly experimental, untested, unstable, yada yada...) but it does appear to function," wrote Anson.

But he warns that a network manager may take more than 10 minutes to "see" the access points and underlying components can easily break or get hung.

"When in doubt, reboot and give it another try," he said, which means users will have to press the "power" key on the Mini 10v as there is no reboot/shutdown menu option.

"Obviously, this image comes with absolutely no support of any kind and is to be considered highly experimental and completely unstable," Anson said.


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