Google has announced that in the second half of 2010 it will release the Google Chrome Operating System, an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Running up to that release, Google will open-source the operating system's source code. The company claims that netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010.
According to Google, the key aspects of Google Chrome OS will be speed, simplicity, and security with a fast start-up that gets users onto the web in a few seconds. The UI will be minimal and most of the user experience will take place on the web.
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 and ARM processors. The software architecture will supposedly be simple -- Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For developers, the web will be the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using familiar web technologies. Apps will run on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.
Google Chrome OS is not Android. Android was designed to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. That said, there will be areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap.