updated 05:55 pm EST, Tue November 17, 2009
Public Chrome OS preview soon
Google's rumored Chrome OS release should primarily center on its first public demo of the platform, a notice tonight. An event is said due on Thursday that should include a "complete overview" of the web-centric OS, including its technical underpinnings as well as demos. It's now thought by TechCrunch that a code release is possible but that a more formal release isn't coming until 2010.
Officially, Google has only promised Chrome OS for the latter half of 2010 and primarily expects it to surface on netbooks, nettops and other low-end PCs where low performance and storage are better-suited to a lightweight OS.
The software is poised to threaten Microsoft's control of netbooks, where Windows is on the vast majority of systems but has also added to the costs of the base systems. Google hasn't detailed its Chrome OS licensing but is basing it on Linux and some of its own existing technology from Android and Chrome, which in combination could reduce the cost of using Google's software versus the $30 Microsoft usually charges for Windows 7 Starter.
Its existence has been controversial as it forced Google chief Eric Schmidt to resign from Apple's board over an increasing conflict of interest.