Google has announced that they plan to release a Chrome based OS.
Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Google plans to open-source its code later this year and offer Google powered netbooks in 2010. Company officials confirmed that Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips. Google is currently working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year bundled with the new Chrome OS.
Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Chrome OS is being created for people "who spend most of their time on the web" according to Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management at Google.
The move is ambitious and has wide spread implications not just to consumers but to dominant market leaders Microsoft and Apple. Google has managed to dominate the search market and internet advertising space and having an operating system it controls will certainly help keep them at number one in those markets.
It's not going to be an easy future for the Google OS, Microsoft officials claim that 96% of netbooks run Windows so penetrating that market share will be tough. Google is in an advantageous position to market its Google Apps to compete with Microsoft's Office products. Could this be the equivalent of Apple's AppStore for iPhone where Google provides a controlled and secure development environment for web developers?
Google has not confirmed official pricing and availability yet and the company didn't mention how exactly it plans to profit from Chrome OS.
In a separate announcement earlier this week, Google confirmed it is removing the beta tag from some of its services. The company hopes that this will make businesses more confident to adopt the Google Apps services.