Google Is Counting On Big-Name Partners For Chrome OS; HP, Lenovo, Qualcomm Among Others

Adding heft to its entry into the operating system market, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) disclosed it was working with a number of major netbook makers on Chrome OS. Among the partners Google listed: Acer, ASUS, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo. Google’s plans call for Chrome OS to be on netbooks by the middle of next year; together those companies accounted for more than 60 percent of the netbooks shipped during the first quarter, according to the NPD Group. The only major players that are absent: Dell and Toshiba. (Sony (NYSE: SNE) just announced plans to ship its first netbook.)

Google also is working with wireless company Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM), which is developing processors for a new category of computers called smartbooks seen as a cross between a netbook and a smart phone. Google’s Android mobile operating system was expected to run on some of those devices. Two other processor makers, Texas Instruments and Freescale, have also signed on, as has software company Adobe Systems (NSDQ: ADBE). Google did not detail what the involvement of the companies will be, only saying it is working with them “to design and build devices.”