, Zeus wrote

I was dissapointed in that the OS will only ship with OEMs, it's not intended to be downloaded and installed on it's own ... I really wanted to test it on a laptop I have hanging around.

Well, ChromeOS is far from a general purpose OS and therefore does not employ support for n hardware configurations... So, it doesn't provide the same capability/support model as a full strength gp OS like Windows or Linux or OSX. It's a web browser shell on top of a Linux kernel with very restricted hardware support. It's more of an appliance OS than anything else and it has a narrow focus. So, like the iPad, it's a single hardware device OS with specific built-in drivers (there is no driver development model) and a closed system to support a single model (web computation). In my mind, this is just device you use to surf the web and run web applications, something you can already do on every major OS. For the Windows case, the obvious truth about IE9 + Windows Vista/7 is that web browsing happens closer to the hardware than on any other browser. So, you can run the rich web AND have a gp OS that runs on a large number of hardware configurations. If a network is not present, then an OS like ChromeOS is not terribly useful, unlike the true gp operating systems...

I don't see the demise of the gp OS any time soon... Windows 7 is selling like hot cakes, new Windows PC form factors will continue to emerge and evolve, etc. Makes for good press, though, and speculation by the techy masses. Unfortunately, investors are easily fooled and the article I read this morning on Forbes (don't have the URL handy - go to their website and look for an article on MS stock expectations...) indicated that MS stock won't exceed 31 USD partly due to a decrease in PC sales over the next 5 years (on what grounds, exactly?) and more competition in the OS space with the addition of Chrome OS. Seems a tad early to make these claims. ChromeOS versus Windows is apples to oranges.

C