Google released the Chrome OS open sourced code base on November 19, 2009. The first netbooks running the Chrome OS are not expected for at least another year. There are some nice features of this streamlined Linux variant such as fast boot using solid state disk technology built into the netbook. However just about any OS has the ability to support SSDs. In fact more than a few operating systems, file systems and databases are SSD aware.
With several other Linux offerings such as RedHat, OpenSuse, OEL, Centos, etc. why yet another? (Have you heard of Moblin?) Chrome OS appers to me as more of a thin client rather than desktop device. All applications on a Chrome OS device execute via the Web somewhere. The users interface to the given application is through the Chrome web browser. All the data and the application code is NOT on the netbook running The Chrome OS.
The major software desktop platforms want to optimize seamless operation of the desktop and the World Wide Web. Microsoft has Windows 7 and Linux desktops are no longer only for the hobbyist. Also look how far Apple has come with the UNIX based operating system developed at NeXT, now called Mac OS X.
Now this desktop/netbook/Web client situation sounds familiar to the various smart devices already all over the world. A particular embedded OS in smart phones really does make a difference. The Blackberry OS can multitask and therefore you can run multiple applications at once. The iPhone OS cannot run more than one application at a time but the iPhone experience and application portfolio has set the standard. Google has the Android OS for intelligent handsets now coming to market. Will there be a Windows 7 CE?
My opinion is that two camps emerge. The set of companies whose business model is totally focused to monetize the Web. Everyone else is focused on maintaining their business model AND creating ways to monetize the Web. Consumers want simplicity and low prices. Unfortunately simplicity and low price are inverse proportions for the enterprise.
Crossing this chasm is what makes the IT industry very exciting today and for the next several years!