Ah, Google. You gotta love those guys. First, they redefined the way people retrieve information - they've been the saviour of many a high school kid having to compile a project at the last minute. They revolutionized email, and from there, the world of Google products just exploded.
Recently (like, about a year ago) Google launched the G1 Android phone, which runs software developed by the search giant. Android was, probably, the first step in a clever plan by the company to gather their services under one banner, to provide a comprehensive product that could redefine the way people do mobile computing.
As ever, Google loves to capitalize on the latest "in thing". In this case, that latest "thing" in the tech world is netbooks. These nifty little notebook computers are rapidly rising in popularity, especially amongst business users rushing around with meetings everywhere.
Google has seen this rise in the netbook market as an opportunity to bolster their savvy image, and at the same time rake in some extra cash - hey, who wouldn't in these economic times? Their reply to netbooks: their very own operating system. It's called Chrome OS (to go with their own browser, the Chrome Browser, of course).
Chrome OS, according to Google, "is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks.". It will be separate from the Android project, and will focus on delivering a connected experience on netbook computers. However, as Google says, the company plans to take it further, and in a few years' time, we may be seeing Google-branded computers and an OS to challenge the might of Apple and the formidable Microsoft.
Now, most people on the blogs think that this is a bit of a shady move by Google. The company has already been under fire for privacy issues in the past, and these opponents are claiming that by using a Chrome OS netbook, Google is practically going to be in charge of your entire computing experience.
While this may hold a little truth to it, I think that it's a great move on their part. Chrome OS will push the big shots (read: Apple and Microsoft) to develop their products for better quality. After all, one more player in the market won't hurt the game - if anything, it's going to provide us consumers with more options to choose from.
Chrome OS is expected to be released sometime next year. I look forward to it.