The traditional view of an operating system is something that loads when we switch on our computer, and shows us a desktop with icons, and which has a start button at the bottom left corner, so on and so forth. So basically, a plebeian idea of an OS conjures up images of either Mac , Windows, or at the most Linux. Can someone revoltingly usurp the traditional view, and more importantly, ideate something new? Well talk of revolutions and it rings(or Bings :) ) 'Google'. The frizzy braniacs at Mountain View have embarked on a journey just to do that. By winter next year, we will witness, either a farce or an exemplary new OS. I am vouching for the latter possibility. The news that Google is going to launch a Chrome based open-source(duh!) OS, based on Linux kernel, has received extreme reactions. Most people are thrilled, few say they anticipated it, and others have started flunking it.
They(the techies, who else!) say that they saw it coming when Google announced Chrome, the open source web browser, because of the way Chrome works. Chrome, unlike other browsers, does a host of tasks that other browsers delegate to the underlying OS. For instance, Chrome treats each of its tabs as an independent process, with separate process stack, which can be verified from the task manager of your Windows(Donno what's it like in Mac).
What will be the OS like? They(this time they refers to the guys working on Chrome OS) say that the traditional OSs were built when there was no or very little idea of the internet. Chrome OS will shift the onus of managing your data to the online world. It will be as simple as a browser, but would be very powerful. You would not need the heavy weight Windows or Mac. I have some reservations with this statement, but going by who has made them, I will accept like a true follower.
So what's next? Google has invited the open source community to participate in this venture. They(this time it is Google, as a corporate) have also declared openings exclusively for projects on the Chrome OS. I believe that Google saw Bing coming, and they wanted to give Microsoft a taste of what they felt when Bing was announced. May be that's why Google has hastily declared its intentions so early, an year ahead of the official launch of the OS.
Personally, I am not expecting something mind boggling like GMail, but yes, it will surely give Balmer some sleepless nights.....