Big news from the Google empire this morning! Team Google, never choosing to sit on the sidelines when they see an opportunity to make something better (see: browsers, mobile phones, TV advertising, etc, etc), has announced that they're currently building an operating system offshoot of their lightweight web app optimized browser Chrome- called Chrome OS. The operating system will essentially boot directly to a browser and run applications designed for the web. It will be open source so anyone can build off it and focus on web standards so applications that work on Chrome OS could work in any modern browser (meaning, at least today, most browsers not named - Internet Explorer). It will be clean, safe, and streamlined for optimal use on lower powered machines such as netbooks.
Google is providing no pictures right now, but they are in discussions with partners and the more information will be out soon. And around this time next year we should expect to be able to buy some Google Chrome OS powered netbooks from major manufacturers.
Whatever you think of Google and their quest for world domination, you have to give them this - when they enter a market, they go strong and they go big, and they look at how they can push the boundaries, make it better. Booting directly to a web OS isn't new (I'll write more about it later today), but Google will surely bring a polished idea to the table in a big way leveraging the clout and relationships they already have. This will likely push Microsoft hard to re-think Windows in terms of the new landscape. It remains to be seen how successful Windows 7 can be but if it's not able to maximize the effect of lower powered computer then Microsoft could lose that market by 2010.