Google Chrome OS launch not until next year?

25 Nov 2010

Google’s much-anticipated new operating system Chrome OS may not debut until next year, according to reports. Although a consumer launch is expected next year, Google may yet bring out its own branded netbook or tablet running the OS.

The search and advertising giant, which has been making – uncomfortable for Microsoft and Apple – forays into the smartphone and browser space, has been planning Chrome OS for two years now.

Google’s Chrome OS was initially positioned to capitalise on the netbook revolution but it seems to have been overtaken by events. Since the launch of the iPad, Apple can’t seem to manufacture enough of the devices and media moguls Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch see these devices as the next frontier for media consumption.

Why does Google want two mobile operating systems?

In May, it emerged that Google has joined forces with US telecoms giant Verizon to launch its own “iPad killer” device based on the Android operating system. Chip giant Intel is also beavering away to facilitate alternative manufacturers with designs on the burgeoning tablet space.

But it seems confusing as to why Google would want to have two ultra-portable operating systems in the market for tablet and netbook computers – an Android OS and a Chrome OS.

According to a report on Engadget, Google is planning to launch its own Chrome-book for “friends and family” in the same way it did with the Nexus One. The device will be powered by an Atom Pine Trail processor and 75,000 units are being manufactured by Taiwan ODM Inventec.

My money is on a big reveal in early January at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years