Google Chrome OS due Next Week! Real or Rumor?

If TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington is to be believed then Google’s Chrome operating system may be available for download as early as next week. Citing a “reliable source”, TechCrunch indicates an early version of the Chrome OS will arrive with a limited collection of hardware drivers “within a week”. However, Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google first announced plans for the OS this past summer and had previously said that an early version of the OS would be available this fall. Considering that we’re about two weeks away from the end of fall, a debut next week would hardly be unexpected. If it’s anything like Google’s Web browser, also called Chrome, expect the OS to be fast and a little buggy.

Google Chrome OS due Next Week! Real or Rumor

The Mountain View Chocolate Factory announced the Chrome OS this summer, describing it as essentially the Google Chrome web browser running atop the Linux kernel. Intended mainly for netbooks, it will run on both x86 and ARM chips. Shipping systems are slated for release in the middle of next year.

Google is taking a cloud-based approach in its operating system strategy. With traditional operating systems, the OS works with your computer’s processor, memory and hard drive (or other storage medium) to execute commands. But Google is looking to port those tasks from your computer to a network of Web servers. Instead of saving a document to your hard drive, you’d save it to your Google account. The actual information will exist on a remote server. Instead of storing lots of programs on your computer, you’ll access Web applications. It’s diabolical!

Will the operating system be an instant hit? We sincerely doubt it. We think Google will have to prove the OS is stable and useful first. But the company has seen recent success with its Android mobile phone operating system. And it’s won some goodwill after announcing that it will provide free WiFi to several airports during the holiday season.

Rumor or real, maybe this is the perfect time for Google to strike with the launch of Google Chrome OS. What do you think?

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