posted by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Jul 2009 14:03 UTC
IconEven though everyone's talking about it, fact of the matter is that Google's Chrome OS is currently nothing more than an internet announcement, with a supposed release date of somewhere in 2010. Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has now stated that netbooks running Chrome OS could appear as early as this year. In addition, Schmidt also talked about his position at Apple's board of directors.

Hewlett-Packard and Acer are working on netbooks running the newly announced Chrome OS, and they could become available as early as this year, according to the Google chief executive. Schmidt made his remarks during a speech at the annual Allen & Company conference. "Everybody we've talked to under nondisclosure is excited about the plan," Schmidt said, "So hopefully later this year we'll see some announcements."

A problem for Eric Schmidt is his position on Apple's board of directors. US law isn't particularly keen on people from company Xyz sitting on the board of competing company Abc; with Chrome OS, Google not only directly competes with Microsoft in the operating system space, but also with Apple and its Mac OS X. Consequently, Schmidt says he is in talks with Apple about whether or not he should give up his position on the board.

Speaking of competition, Schmidt refused to discuss Microsoft. "I don't want to talk about Microsoft," he said, "We actually don't look at market share at all." Microsoft and Google rivalry is on the rise, with Microsoft's introduction of Bing, and now with Google's Chrome OS move.

Interesting is whether or not Google Native Client will play a role in Chrome OS. Native Client allows you to run native x86 code inside the browser, which would mean that Chrome OS is about more than just web applications. Google has made it clear already that Native Client will be able to process x86-64 and ARM code as well in the future, so it could be a perfect fit for Chrome OS.

My wild and completely uneducated guess is that Chrome OS will resemble Palm's WebOS in some ways. Palm's new mobile operating system uses various web languages to write applications, in a manner completely distinct from whatever the early iPhone web apps did - as in the SDK gives you access to the hardware and data storage as well, despite the fact that it uses web languages. Since there is a large pool of developers in the world that is familiar with these languages, it makes sense for Google - an internet-centric company, after all - to model Chrome OS like WebOS.

Then again, as stated, Chrome OS is currently nothing more than an announcement, and as such, any speculation is based on absolutely nothing. Show us the code, Google.

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