In a direct challenge to Microsoft, Google announced late Tuesday that it is developing an operating system for PCs based on its Chrome Web browser.
Google said the OS would initially be aimed at netbooks, the compact, low-cost computers. It is said that the open-source software, called Chrome OS, would be available in the second half of next year.
Google has already developed an operating system for mobile phones, called Android. And several manufacturers of netbooks are also using that software. The OS will be based on speed, simplicity and security.
Last year, the company released the Chrome browser, which is a tool for users to interact with increasingly powerful Web programs, like Gmail and Google Docs, along with Web applications created by other companies. Since then, Google has been adding capabilities to Chrome, like allowing it to run applications even when a user is not connected to the Internet.