Practical Technology

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Waiting for Chrome

I keep expecting Google to release an alpha version of their Chrome operating system, but it hasn’t happened yet. I know they’re working on it, but that’s about all I can say. However, over in China, there’s a story of early devices running alpha Chrome and some Linux fans have made their own version of Chrome.

First, there’s a report from Shanzai, a news site that covers China’s technology business, that “devices sporting Google’s much trumpeted Chrome OS will start to appear in mid October.” Specifically, Chrome will show up in devices using the Chinese-designed Loongson CPU.

The Loongson CPU, like the better known ARM processor family, are MIPS-based CPUs. Like the ARM Cortex chip family, Loongson chips are used in mobile devices, netbooks, and — at its fastest speed — these CPUs are beginning to be experimented with in full-powered laptops and desktops. Since Google is working on Chrome with Freescale, the primary ARM vendor, and several Chinese vendors, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if some vendors have gotten their hands on pre-alpha Chrome code.

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