Will Dell Dump Microsoft for Google's Chrome Operating System?

Google's (GOOG) Chrome operating system will be locked in a market share war with Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows OS when it's released later this year. Microsoft has a huge lead because it runs, by some estimates, on 90% of the PCs sold around the world. The success of Windows 7 may help cement that advantage. But the tide could be changing.

Google and Dell (DELL) are discussing a deal to have its Chrome OS put on on the PC company's laptops. According to Reuters, "We have to have a point of view on the industry and technology direction two years, three years down the road, so we continuously work with Google on this," Amit Midha, Dell's president for Greater China and South Asia said.

Dell's global PC sales are behind those of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), and Acer recently boasted that it could become the No.1 PC company in the world by the end of this year. Dell may believe that the Chrome OS will help it stand out in an increasingly competitive computer market in which the Apple (AAPL) computer operating system is also gaining ground.

The problem with Chrome is that it's still an unknown in terms of its actual performance and competitiveness with other operating systems.