Michael Arrington from TechCrunch claims to have heard from "a reliable source" that Google will be launching the much-anticipated Chrome OS within a week. The tech industry media has been punked on Chrome OS in the past, but as Arrington notes, Google has said to expect it in the fall, and fall is running out.

Chrome OS is Google's attempt to "rethink what operating systems should be." It's an open source, "lightweight" operating system to be initially targeted at netbooks.

"Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS," Google said upon the Chrome OS announcement. "We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work."

Chrome OS "The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform," the company continued. "All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform."

Arrington says he thinks driver support will be an issue with Chrome OS. "...Having a robust set of functioning drivers is extremely important to Chrome OS’s success. People will want to download this to whatever computer they use and have it just work," he says. "We expect Google will be careful with messaging around the launch, and endorse a small set of devices for installation. EEE PC netbooks, for example, may be one set of devices that Google will say are ready to use Chrome OS. There will likely be others as well, but don’t expect to be able to install it on whatever laptop or desktop machine you have from day one."

If Arrington's source truly is reliable, then we should see how the launch of Chrome OS pans out very soon. It's going to be very interesting to see how Google competes with Microsoft in the operating system space, as it is doing in both search and web browsers.


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