Here’s a quick report from Technology Review. I’m not convinced naming the operating system to match the browser is that great an idea. I see confusion amongst the casual user. I’m guessing that’s what Google is shooting for, but I don’t see any real advantage there. Both products need marketing — marketing to separate groups — to gain any real traction, and I can’t imagine any level of confusion among users is going to help those efforts.
From the link:
Google gave the first demonstration of its Chrome operating system today, at the same time opening the source code to the public. The company highlighted features that have grown out of what vice president of product management Sundar Pichai called “a fundamentally different model of computing.” Unlike other operating systems, which merely incorporate the Internet, Chrome is completely focused on it.
The Chrome OS is based so aggressively on the Internet that devices running it will not even have hard drives, Pichai said, emphasizing that “every app is a Web app.” All data will be stored in the cloud, and every application will be accessed through the Chrome browser. Because of this, he added, users will never have to install software or manage updates on the device.
The user interface closely resembles the Chrome browser. When the user opens applications, they appear as tabbed windows across the top of the screen. Users can stick their favorite applications to the desktop with one click, creating permanent tabs for them.