Notebook computers powered by Google software are heading to market in a direct assault on the Windows operating system at the heart of Microsoft's technology empire.

The California-based Internet colossus partnered with electronics makers Samsung and Acer on notebook computers essentially crafted as portals to online applications or services reached through Google's Chrome Web browser.

"Whether it be Microsoft or other operating system vendors, the complexity of managing your computer is really torturing computer users out there," Google co-founder Sergey Brin said during a press briefing.

"That is a flawed model," he said. "Chrome notebooks are a new model that doesn't put the burden of managing a computer on you."

Thousands of people have tinkered with a prototype Chrome notebook that Google distributed last year to live test the product.

Google collaborated with Samsung and Acer on versions of Chrome notebooks that will be available for purchase online beginning June 15 in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and the United States.

Acer notebooks based on Chrome will have starting prices of $349 and Samsung models will start at $429, Chrome senior vice president Sundar Pichai said while announcing the news at a Google developers conference in San Francisco.

"It gets pretty obvious, when you use a Chrome notebook you understand how it is different," Pichai said. "These devices are designed to be really simple to use."

Chrome notebooks don't use installed software other than the browser that connects to applications hosted as services in the Internet "cloud."

Behind the scenes, Google tends to updates, security, and other computer management tasks once the responsibility of hardware owners.

"With the creation of the Series 5 we are again pushing the boundaries of innovation by introducing an entirely new product category to the notebook market," said Samsung director of mobile PC marketing Scott Ledterman.

"This partnership has allowed us to combine Samsung's design and engineering expertise with Google's simple, secure software to provide consumers with a revolutionary notebook to fit today's web-centric lifestyle."

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