Google announced the Google Chrome OS on 7 July 2009. Few details have been released, but this appears to be a version of Linux using a web interface conceptually similar to webOS used on the Palm Pre. It is not clear if Chrome OS will be a scaled up version of the Android operating system
used on the HTC Dream and HTC Magic mobile phones.
The idea seems to create a minimal operating system to support a web browser and then have most of the application provided remotely by web servers. This will not be the first such minimalist version of Linux. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbooks selected for NSW secondary school students come with "Splashtop", an instant on version of Linux with simplified applications, in addition to the Windows operating system.
Google may help popularise such Linux based operating systems. This could make low cost, low power computers more feasible. It should cost less than $50 to add such a computer to an LCD video monitor or TV for example.