Late last night Google admitted one of these spculations, an operating system, was actively under development. The Chrome operating system, set for public release in 2010, initially targets low-end netbooks -- those super-portable machines focused largely on basic online activity (email, web browisng, note taking).
Many netbooks now run an older version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, XP. While the Vista requirements are generally too much for netbooks to handle, Windows 7 is expected to fare much better. [I've been running Windows 7 on a netbook with pleasing results.]
While Google hasn't announced much in the way of details, we do know the operating system will be an expansion of the freely-available Chrome web browser.
There's much work to be done, and last night's post raises more questions than it answers, for now this closing thought from Google:
We have a lot of work to do, and we're definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision. We're excited for what's to come and we hope you are too. Stay tuned for more updates in the fall and have a great summer.
Stay tuned to this blog (subscribe for updates via. email) for more of what you need-to-know when details of Google Chrome is released.