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Google Chrome OS Is Here! Well, Kinda.

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Later today at CES, Glide will be debuting its extension for the Google Chrome browser, which it claims turns the software program into a full operating system. The extension, which is also available for Internet Explorer 7+ and Firefox 3.0+, can already be downloaded here.

What Glide does is extend the most popular Internet browsers with a suite of applications that can interact with multiple remote Windows, Mac and Linux desktops and mobile platforms.

These tools include a rights-based file management system, a word processor, presentation app, photo editor, e-mail client, drawing tool, contact manager, calendar and more. When the extension is installed, you’ll see a bunch of new options upon clicking the new Glide icon in the toolbar, but you’ll need to register first.

The Glide extension for Google Chrome also equips the browser with needed file synchronization and automated file format translation features. On top of that, Glide’s solution comes with 20GB of free storage, and doesn’t include ads.

I’ve been playing around with the OS / extension for about half an hour, and the biggest take-away as far as I’m concerned is that while Glide comes with a host of features and applications, the interface is clunky and not aligned with the browser experience very well. If this is the future of convergence between operating systems and the Web, I don’t want it.

Glide is free for up to 6 users, and offers a premium version with 50 GB of storage and support for up to 25 users for $4.95 per month (or 49.95 per year).

Glide is bold enough to state that its extension for Google Chrome effectively one-ups Google’s own, recently announced but unreleased Chrome OS because it supports virtually any device and platform today whereas Google Chrome OS will only run on a limited number of devices.

In the first half of 2010, Glide expects to ship a bootable version of the Glide OS for Netbooks, making it possible to launch the Glide OS at startup. The company aims to provide netbooks with a unified desktop, file management system and a suite of native versions of the Glide Application Suite.

If the experience is anything remotely like the one I’m having with the Chrome extension, I’ll stick to Jolicloud, thanks.

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