Dell may test Google's Chrome OS

The company is also rumored to be testing the Android operating system

Dell on Friday said it would consider testing Google's upcoming Chrome operating system, but didn't commit to offering the Linux-based OS in future products.

"Dell constantly assesses new technologies as part of managing our product development process and for consideration in future products," company spokesman David Frink said in an e-mail.

Dell's absence was noticed in a list of PC makers that Google is working with to support the OS. The list included PC makers Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo and Asustek Computer. HP and Lenovo haven't yet committed to offering the product with future PCs.

Chrome is a thin version of a Linux-based operating system that is designed for people who mostly rely on the Web for computing. It is designed for devices like netbooks, which are low-cost computers designed to run basic computer applications like the Web browser.

Dell is also rumored to be testing Google's Android operating system, which is mostly designed for smartphones and mobile Internet devices.

There has been a lot of confusion regarding Google's hardware partners on the Chrome OS. Google's list of partners included chip makers like Freescale Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, but Intel was missing, although it actually has been working with Google and had prior knowledge about the OS.

"Yes, we've been privy to the project for some time and obviously work with Google on a variety of projects, including elements of this one," Intel spokesman Bill Kircos said Wednesday.

Dell currently offers Canonical's Ubuntu operating system with its desktops and laptops. Canonical's Web-centric Ubuntu version is Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which is designed for quick access to applications and the Web.

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