Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has reportedly indicated that Chrome OS will not be tied solely to the Chrome browser, telling a conference that Apple's Safari would be able to run on Google's eagerly anticipated operating system.

The Chrome OS is Google's attempt to create an operating system for the era of cloud computing, with the browser central to the entire experience.

There had been some discussion about whether this would mean that Google's browser – also called Chrome – would be critical to the OS, something that could feasibly have anti-competition repercussions, as Microsoft has discovered with the EC investigation into bundling IE with Windows.

However, according to Reuters, Schmidt did say that Chrome OS will work with Apple's Safari browser.

"There's a very large collaboration with respect to Chrome and Safari," he said.

Board silly?

Schmidt also admitted that he will talk to Apple about his role on the company's board, after the announcement of the Chrome OS.

Schmidt, talking at a media briefing in Sun Valley, insisted that there was 'no issue' with Apple after being asked if there was a conflict with Apple when Google goes into the operating system market.

"I'll talk to the Apple people. At the moment, there's no issue," Schmidt said, no doubt mindful of the ongoing anti-trust investigation being carried out about his place on the board by the US Federal Trade Commission

In truth, Google's OS is not a direct competitor for Apple's OS X – which the latter only uses on its own products, rather than competing for the more general PC market which is dominated by Windows.

Via Reuters