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With Google’s Chrome OS finally becoming a reality, you may want to get your hands on one for nowt. Here’s how you do it.

Before the Cr-48 netbook hits the shops Google is running a test pilot so that real users can play with the device and give feedback to Google.

“We’re launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses,” said the search engine company in a recent blog. “We’re starting with the U.S. and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications.”

In order to get your hands on a free Chrome netbook you have to sign up to the pilot program. This involves telling Google that you are a frequent internet user (you’re reading this aren’t you?) and over 18.

It warned that the netbook pilot program was “not for the faint of heart” as the laptop may not always work as desired.

Signing up for the program involves filling out a short questionnaire and giving Google your name and address. You also have to give them regular feedback and commit to using it as you regular computer. You also have to tell in 140 characters or less why you would be the ideal candiate to carry out testing.

To apply for the program visit http://www.google.com/chromeos/pilot-program.html, and click on “Apply Now.” Applications close on 21 December.

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