chrome logo may09 Chrome OS Still A Year Away   Screenshots and First InformationThe much touted Chrome OS was unskirted today, showing off how far the project has come so far. First in the announcements, there is no beta today, the project is now open source, and Chrome OS is going to change netbooks forever.

Chrome OS is based off of Chrome, the Google browser. There are some 40 million active Chrome users, that is people who have it as their main browser. Chrome for Mac and Linux are coming along, and Chrome Extensions are on the way.

The basic impetus for Chrome OS, is that people are moving towards the cloud, and netbooks, creating a massive market for a cloud based operating system that is built around a fast browser. That in a nutshell, is Chrome OS.

Chrome OS is focused on speed, simplicity, and security. The OS currently boots in a shear 7 seconds, and it is just 3 seconds to have an app open. There will be no local storage in Chrome OS, everything is in the cloud. 100%.

Chrome OS looks like Chrome, but with a number of upgrades. To run web apps, the only apps that you can use in Chrome OS, you use application tabs, to which you can pin things. Think of this as the Windows Launch Bar, but in the browser.

There is also an “application menu” where apps are listed. Apps currently available include Hulu, Lala, Twitter, and Chess. Recall that all apps must be only web applications.

Every web developer is now a Chrome OS developer.

Chrome OS lets you run multiple instances Chrome, and you can cycle between the different instances. You can transfer tabs between the different instances.

Of course, this is still a very early build of Chrome OS, just released to the open source community, but it feels quite polished. At least, it looks that way. Oh, and Flash works in Chrome OS, right now. No word on Silverlight.

The Chrome OS is aimed to fit a large number of user scenarios. Keep your eyes open, Chrome OS wants you to change the way you compute, and move to the cloud, all the time. Screenshots below:

chrome ss 1 Chrome OS Still A Year Away   Screenshots and First Information

chrome ss 2 Chrome OS Still A Year Away   Screenshots and First Information