* Says economy’s worst over but no strong sign of recovery
* Chrome on Microsoft turf but Google downplays rivalry
SUN VALLEY, Idaho, July 9 (Reuters) - Google Inc GOOG.O Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said there may be announcements later this year about netbook PCs running its new Chrome operating system, as the Internet giant makes its deepest push into Microsoft Corp's MSFT.O business.
Schmidt also said on Thursday that while the worst of the economic downturn has passed, there aren’t any strong signs of an immediate recovery.
“I think the new normal is now,” Schmidt said at a one-hour briefing with reporters, along with Google co-founder Larry Page, at the Allen & Co media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Earlier this week, Google announced it was developing a PC operating system based on its Chrome Web browser, expected in the second half of 2010. The company said computer makers like Hewlett-Packard Co HPQ.N and Acer 2353.TW are working with Google on Chrome devices. [ID:nL8468341]
“Everybody we’ve talked to under nondisclosure is excited about the plan. So hopefully later this year we’ll see some announcements,” Schmidt said on Thursday.
Schmidt and Page repeatedly steered the conversation away from the rivalry with Microsoft, describing the Chrome OS as a product that would be “additive” to the PC market.
“I don’t want to talk about Microsoft,” Schmidt said, noting later that Google did not have any particular goals for Chrome to take market share in the PC business.
“We actually don’t look at market share at all,” said Schmidt. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Tiffany Wu, Gary Hill)
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