Google Chrome Netbooks on the way

Codenames for Google's own-brand laptops leaked

Google HQ working with two prototype Chrome netbooks?

Google are apparently one step closer to launching their much-rumoured own-brand range of netbooks, with two codenames for suspected testing units leaking onto the internet.

The Google netbooks will reportedly be built by a third party, much in the same way as the Google Nexus One, but what's really set online tongues a-wagging is the bundled Google Chrome OS. Google had previously been testing the Chrome operating system on Asus, Dell and Lenovo computers, but the appearance of Chrome bug reports of two new machines - codenamed Mario and Andretti - suggests Google have at least two models of what will soon be the the actual Chrome netbooks prototyped and in the hands of testers.

The Chrome operating system will be free, linux-based and open source, and is thought to be online-only, making heavy use of web-based applications and the cloud. When can we expect to see a Chrome-book in the flesh? Apparently not until early next year, although Google has vowed that the OS will be released by year's end.

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