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Google ready to Xoom in to compete with the iPad

Priced at 479 pounds, the device will be in direct competition with Apple's iPad 2, which sold out in less than 24 hours when it went on sale last month and still has a fourweek waiting period for online orders.

Google is ready to fight Apple for a share of the tablet computer market when it releases its answer to the iPad next week.

The Xoom, which is made by Motorola, is the first tablet computer to run on Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system (OS).

Priced at 479 pounds, the device will be in direct competition with Apple's iPad 2, which sold out in less than 24 hours when it went on sale last month and still has a fourweek waiting period for online orders.

Google hopes the software, which is set to be used by dozens of manufacturers, will help it replicate its success against Apple in the mobile phone market "We have worked very closely with Google and have spent a lot of time working at their officetony in the United States. It's an incredibly competitive market, but we think working with Google gives us a point of difference," said Andrew Morley from Motorola.

"We have a significant number of pre-orders, which has been really encouraging, and we are very hopeful," Morley added.

But computer experts believe the search engine major Google will still find it hard to compete with Apple.

Luke Peters, editor, T3 magazine, said, "The Xoom is an impressive product, and for anyone who doesn't want an Apple device it's the best alternative. However, Apple is now on its second generation of tablets, and has already taken the next step forward- making tablets like the Xoom already look a little dated". "Tablets live and die by their apps, and Google still has a lot of work to do in that area," he added.