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Google to double Chrome OS staff in Taiwan

TAIPEI -- Google Inc. is planning to double the number of engineers in its Chrome operating system research center in Taiwan this year, as part of the U.S. search engine's biggest recruitment project in the country, a Google executive said Tuesday.

The Chrome OS team at Google's Taiwan branch is playing “a key role” in the global development of the Web centric operating system, said Google Taiwan Managing Director Chien Lee-feng, adding that the center has become Google's major overseas research base for the Chrome OS outside the U.S.

He declined to disclose the number of Chrome engineers currently in Taiwan or how many more Google plans to hire this year, but said the company is eager to find fresh graduates and experienced workers who have developed Linux-based consumer devices.

“We expected to see more highly diversified Chrome devices this year,” he said at a local press briefing. “There is still much room for our Chrome OS team to make progress, and I think the main target for this year is to make better products.”

Chien said Google also plans to hire a “three-digit” number of local employees in Taiwan this year — the highest annual number since it set up its branch in the country in 2006 — for engineering, design, sales, operations, product management and partnerships.

The huge expansion of the Chrome OS team comes nearly three years after Google established a research and development center in Taiwan for its operating system in a bid to promote the emerging platform in business and educational markets.

The mission of the research center is different from the model normally used for notebook manufacturing, as it aims to build a new operating ecosystem with Taiwan's original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs), according to Google.

The Chrome operating system is based around Google's popular Chrome browser, offering an always-connected experience that relies heavily on information and processing power in the cloud.

Taipei-based market intelligence firm Digitimes Research forecast in January that Global shipments of Chromebook laptops will double in 2014 to 4 million units, as more PC brands, including Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc., prepare to launch new products.

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