While a full-scale roll out of Chrome OS has likely been pushed into 2011, NYT reports that before the end of the year, Google will release a lightweight netbook running Chrome OS. Though Google declined to give details of the device, it is expected to be manufactured by another company and branded by Google, similar to the way Google released its Nexus phone, which runs on Android.
What may be most interesting in the NYT report is what Linus Upson, Google's vp of engineering in charge of Chrome, had to say about the new OS:
Chrome OS would be a computing platform stretching to hand-held devices, tablets and TVs. "We're starting with laptops and we'll expand in both directions," he said.
That software wouldn't work on Chrome computers. Instead, Chrome users would use Google's Web-based products, like Docs, Gmail and Picasa for word processing, e-mail and photos, or software from other companies, like Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365. Google also plans to open a Chrome app store for software developers to dream up other Chrome tools.
He said that 60% of businesses could immediately replace their Windows machines with Chrome OS machines.
He also said that he hopes the new OS will put corporate sys admins out of their jobs because everything will just be updated automatically over the web. Something tells me Google may be wishing he phrased that differently.