Ever determined to ramp up its presence in the computing sector, Google has released a new kind of Chrome App designed to work on your desktop. The apps, which Google describes as combining ”the speed, security and flexibility of the modern [w]eb with the powerful functionality previously only available with software installed on your devices,” were launched on the fifth anniversary of Chrome. Consider that a not-so-subtle hint that the company plans to take the previously web-only OS even further.

In addition to Google’s Chromebooks, the apps are compatible with Windows PCs and come with a taskbar-based launcher for Windows machines. Mac and Linux support is said to be on the way too, so a full-on platform war could be on the horizon. The new Chrome Apps also boast offline functionality, a pretty significant development given that the Chrome operating system’s dependence on web connectivity has been considered a major drawback. There’s still the option to sync with other devices, as well as desktop notifications and silent, automatic updates. Hardware connectivity will not be forsaken either, meaning you can plug in cell phones, digital cameras and USB keys.

Some of the new desktop-based Chrome Apps include productivity tool Wunderlist, image-editing software Pixlr Touch Up, and 3D game Cracking Sands, but you can check out the full repertoire in the Chrome Web Store.

[via New York Times]