updated 09:40 am EDT, Wed June 2, 2010
Google says Chrome OS still several months away
Google's Chrome lead Sundar Pichai told those at the Computex show today that Chrome OS won't ship until the "late fall." The release was pushed back towards the end of the original second-half 2010 target as Google wanted to be "selective" as to how the hardware and software came about. Chrome OS will only be usable with netbooks and notebooks at first and has a fixed set of requirements, such as a solid-state drive.
Pichai also dismissed Microsoft claims from last week that Chrome would have a fragmented app market as different brands would need different apps. As Chrome OS uses web apps, many of the 'programs' don't need to be rewritten, he said. The only changes are likely to be in the presentation of the OS, although companies are allowed to modify the OS for their own needs.
Acer, ASUS and a handful of other PC builders are due to use Chrome OS at first. Tablets have been raised as possibilities but haven't been discussed outside of abstract plans. The OS is poised to be a significant competitor in low-end netbooks and tablets as the free or near-free cost, as well as the lightweight system demands, could lead to many systems costing no more than $400.