Insiders at the 2006 CES show are tipping that Google is set to launch a PC based on a ‘Google Cube’–or a similar Internet-enabled device running on a Google Operating System ?

 US media such as Fortune claim  that the online search giant is on the verge of announcing a low-budget PC based on a Google operating system. The device will supposedly come bundled with Wordstar software from Sun Microsystems. Speculation has been mounting that Google’s co-founder Larry Page will use Friday’s keynote address to steal the show from the event’s other attendees, such as Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, Sony Chairman and Chief Executive Sir Howard Stringer, Terry Semel, Yahoo’s chairman and CEO, and Paul Otellini of Intel.

Gates will kick off the annual CES Show on Thursday morning (Sydney time) with his vision of the year ahead in consumer electronics. “If the past is anything like the future, expect the unexpected,” warns the CES’ Web site, pointing out that the world’s richest man has used the event to showcase new products like the Xbox, Tablet PC and Smartphone in the past. Sir Howard, Sony’s white knight, follows Gates with the keynote address on Thursday. Most are expecting Sony to focus its efforts on promoting its Blu-ray DVD technology, which promises far greater capacity on discs. It’ll be fought tooth and nail by Toshiba and its HD-DVD standard, in what one media report billed as an echo of the Betamax versus VHS showdown of the 1970s.

 One media report suggested Google may launch into the browser space with the acquisition of Opera Software, the Norwegian software developer.

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