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Soon after we reported that Google was ready to announce the existence of a Chrome-centered OS, the company went public with the news. Google's Chrome OS will start appearing on netbooks late in 2010.

Well, that didn't take long. Last night, we reported that sources inside and outside Google were suggesting that the company would announce a Chrome-centered OS within a matter of days. It turned out to be a matter of hours. Late Tuesday night, the Google Blog officially announced that the Google Chrome OS was a reality and would appear on netbooks some time later next year.

The announcement contained a thesis statement that is a bit more significant than it might appear at first: "It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be." That statement has both strategic and practical implications, which we'll consider in turn.

From a strategic perspective, "what operating systems should be" clearly involves a heavy dose of Google-driven Web apps, from e-mail to spreadsheets. The entire OS will be focused on getting users into a Web browser as quickly as possible; any other applications will be secondary and probably not provided by Google. Instead, once the browser launches, users can do their computing via online applications, saving their data in the cloud (think of all those "gDrive" rumors from the last few years).

Google views this as computing nirvana for users, saying, "[Users] want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files."



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