Can Google’s Chrome Rival Microsoft’s Windows 8?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has released a snazzy new version of its Chrome operating system that should make the system more competitive with the soon-to-be released Windows 8, according to reports from The New York Times.

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Changes to the Chrome operating system, including updates to word processing and video, are aimed at making the system faster and easier to use. The operating system is designed to work with the very popular Android technology and less popular Google+ social network. According to Google, the Chrome operating system is a more “natural experience” for those already using Google products than is Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8.

Chrome is largely designed for use on lightweight Chromebooks, which require an internet connection to run most applications. Since many of the changes to the system can be made online, some updates will be available for those already running the Chrome operating system. Other improvements, like faster scrolling or track pad improvement, will require a new laptop.

The first of these new laptops is set to be released by Samsung, and is modeled after Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) MacBook Air, but offered at a fraction of the price, costing $499 compared to $999. Samsung’s Chromebook comes with a few disadvantages though, requiring an Internet connection for use. According to Google, this problem will be fixed within the next few weeks, when Google Docs, now called Drive, starts allowing users to write offline. Samsung is also offering a new desktop option, the Chromebox, priced at $329.

With impressively low price points and a new deal to sell the Samsung devices in Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) stores, Chrome may become more popular than ever.

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