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Dell brings Chrome OS to its Netbook

With an experimental project, Dell has adapted Google's browser-based operating system to its Mini 10v Netbook.

Dell has released an experimental version of Google's Chrome OS adapted for its own Mini 10v Netbook.

Earlier this month, Google released the source code underlying the Chrome OS browser-based operating system; the first version of the software won't be complete until 2010, when it will become available only when purchased on a computer. But because it is open-source software, others can sample it today if they're willing to build it themselves.

Dell's Mini 10v Netbook
Dell's Mini 10v Netbook Dell

That's what Doug Anson, a technology strategist for Dell, did.

"I've been doing some tinkering over the last few days working to get our Dell Mini 10v up and running with ChromiumOS. As of late yesterday, I can report success," Anson said on the Direct2Dell community blog.

Anson released the software so it can be loaded onto an 8GB USB flash memory drive. But he offered cautions along with tips to those considering using it. "Use this image at your own risk," he said. "It comes to you totally unsupported and very minimally tested."

Chrome OS uses Linux under the covers, but Google intends for the software to run only browser-based applications. That obviously leaves a lot behind, but Google is among several allies working to gradually improve the Web and browsers as a foundation for programs.

In July, Anson said in a blog post that Dell will evaluate Chrome OS, but he didn't make any commitments to offering a product using the software.

The initial version of Chrome OS is for Netbooks, but Google intends to spread it to higher-end computers after that.