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Today's announcement of Google Chrome OS hit the news hard. Google is working on a new lightweight operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, that will run on x86 and ARM chips and initially be targeted at netbooks.
The key features of Chrome OS are speed, simplicity and security and there is a strong focus on Web based applications. Google plans to open source the underlying code later this year and expects netbooks running Chrome OS to be available in the 2nd half of 2010.
After seeing several Android netbooks being showcased at this years COMPUTEX it looked like Android could be Google's platform of choice for netbooks, laptops, and desktops. But Google, always good for a surprise, decided to take a different route and finally ended speculations about a Google desktop operating system.
Google Chrome OS can have a strong impact and become a serious competitor to the Windows family of operating systems, which is something to look forward to, but there is also good reason to have mixed feelings and ask why Google decided to build their own Linux distro instead of joining forces with an existing one.