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Google's Chrome Web Store Follows Apple-Lined Path

Chrome OS

Google's got a press event later today announcing updates to its Chrome-based operating system, but some details have leaked already—specifically the Chrome OS Web Store, which seems to show Google's planning on aping Apple all the way down the line.

Chrome OS is widely expected to see its official launch today, but it'll come alongside the Chrome Web Store—a marketplace for applications, written for the web-based Chrome, ready to supply apps like games and magazines. The Google team has reportedly already uploaded preview videos to the Chrome segment on YouTube, and someone's managed to get a sneak peek as you can see from the screenshots here.

What can we learn about the Web Store? The Sports Illustrated app Google used before is there again, and the Adobe Flash-based game museum of thieves (which is already playable online) is demonstrated too. There's also an introductory tour of Chrome OS, which seems pretty standard fare for Google, and it certainly demonstrates the Web-centricity of the operating system since we can already peek tabs-within-tabs on the Chrome pages in the image.

We'll get the full details later, of course, but one thing we can already see is that Google is keen to amble along the path blazed by Apple with iOS and the App Store, which Apple is imminently expanding upon with an OS X App Store. We're also expecting Google to ape Apple's recent move to kill the spinning drive, and it's thought that Chrome OS netbooks probably will shun traditional hard drives. Though Apple and Google are rivals, Google is pretty complimentary about Steve Jobs's enterprise—Google's VP of Engineering Andy Rubin was speaking at the AllThingsD conference yesterday, and made candid comments about Apple. In particular Rubin noted "everybody is embracing the iPhone" and that as well as making "good consumer products" and a "robust consumer experience" with "consistency across applications" Apple's also "getting involved in the other end of the mobile spectrum, which is services."

With big-name manufacturers like Toshiba reportedly readying Chrome OS (and Android) netbooks and tablets for CES 2011, we won't have long to wait and see if Google can pull off the same sort of success it's had in the smartphone market in the mobile computing one.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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