Google announced a Linux-based operating system where the applications will be Web based like Google Docs, Calendar, and any other RIA application we will write with GWT (Google Web Toolkit) on HTML5.
Why Google did not use Android for that purpose as I previously predicted? Google blog stated:
“Google Chrome OS is a new project, separate from Android. Android was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of devices from phones to set-top boxes to netbooks. Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems. While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.”
The above statement tells me nothing, but my assumption is they took the same Linux base as Android, they added Chrome to it and many other useful features. I imagine that it will feel somewhat like Widgets Dashboard where everything is from the Web, but it is still the Desktop.
My biggest hope is that just like with Android, the Java will be the primary tool to develop Chrome OS applications on top of the Linux base.
There are many nay-sayers about hosting the apps in the "cloud" and not having them locally (while in the plane over Atlantic ocean), but Google has the solution for that as well.
We have been successfully using and sharing Google Docs for couple of years now and at this point I hate when someone sends me the Word document in the email.
I don't see any reason for NOT dumping the Eclipse IDE and writing all my shared Java code over the internet and using Google servers to deal with 12 minute compilation time of my GWT application. Who knows they might have it done in 3 minutes!
Can you imagine a Web based Photoshop incarnation where the 500 Mb layered image is stored in the cloud? You'd receive the small view-only version of your work (screen size chunk) and Google servers do the heavy lifting of applying the new filter, texture, mask, etc?!? You could do Photoshop on any $500 computer available and it would be much faster.