Thinking of Google’s new Chrome OS as a competitor to Windows or Linux is not really getting the point of what Google is trying to do.  The OS has some very significant restrictions on how it runs, only flash can be used for storage, there will be a custom firmware layer which is non-optional, and a only Google-approved system and peripheral devices will be recognized by Chrome OS.  This is not designed for open box systems, think very proprietary on the hardware and software level.  The OS its self treats everything as a window in a browser, so no installation need ever occur, in fact the OS will sits on a read only partition of the available flash storage.  This gives a big boost to security at the same time that it limits the user from customizing their Chrome OS.  Gaming will be possible thanks to the newly developed O3D API which allows JavaScript to access the GPU for graphics, much like the new beta flash allows the usage of a GPU to process flash video.  Even Office documents will work thanks to a working agreement with Microsoft.  Ars Technica has their heads in the Cloud checking out Google’s OS, why don’t you join them.

“In 2009, it’s better to be an Internet company that’s taking slow, awkward first steps toward the PC, than a PC company that’s still trying and failing to truly integrate with the Internet. Ars looks at what Chrome OS means for Google, Apple, Microsoft, the netbook, ARM, Intel, and the cloud. “Revolutionary” is a clichéd term, but Chrome OS is a good candidate for it.”

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