If you thought Google's OS ambitions would end with Android, think again. The search giant has announced Google Chrome OS, an "open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks", and which promises a start-up to internet-ready delay of just seconds.
Google Chrome OS is the Chrome browser running within a new windowing system with an underlying Linux kernel; while we're yet to see screenshots, the UI is said to be minimal, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. Google will be leveraging their fresh-out-of-beta Google Apps, while developers will be able to code web-based applications that run not only on Chrome OS but any standards-based browser.
By depending so much on the web for its functionality, Google say Chrome OS won't suffer the same virus, malware and security update issues traditional platforms experience. As for overlap with Android, they suggest "choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google." Google are already in talks with manufacturers, and the first netbooks running Google Chrome OS are expected in the second half of 2010. Later on in 2009 they'll open-source its code.