It's official: Google is working on a new operating system, Google Chrome OS, slated to be released in the later half of 2010. It would be built on top of Linux kernel and will be lightweight enough to boot in a few seconds.
The official announcement says,
Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.
It is very much clear that Google wants you to spend time online and Google Chrome OS will be your best friend in having an excellent online experience. Over the time as computing has become out-of-box and as "the operating systems (read Mocrosoft) that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web", Google attempts to "re-think what operating systems should be."

Not only that it lets you access your online applications with ease, Google has plans to let users access all their data from wherever they are. This brings in the debate on the mysterious Google Drive which made a lot of fuss about 3 years back.

Since web-applications are the buzz of the day, Google Chrome OS will also let developers build web-applications with their favorite web-technologies.

The OS is targeted to netbook users, although it is obvious that regular desktop versions will be available to target most number of people.

In the past, whispers about Google working on an operating system made it to Digg's homepage. After Google acquired Android in July, 2005, it seemed somewhat restrained. But this time it's Google creating the buzz. Among the many flavors of Linux distribution, gOS was meant to be built on top of Google's web-applications, like Gmail, GCal, or Google Docs.

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