updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu July 9, 2009
Google Chrome OS Leak
(Update: proven fake) Google's just-announced Chrome OS may have already been spotted courtesy of a leak from a staffer for a part supplier for Acer, which is already confirmed as one of those producing netbooks using the new platform. Installed on an older notebook to prove it doesn't require a new PC, the private beta is extremely minimal and has a Windows 7-like taskbar with a program launch menu and running apps showing on the bar as icons. A search field can be added to the bar.
Although the entire OS is based on the Chrome web engine, the OS makes a distinction between visiting the web and between navigating the computer's own content.
The beta is very early and has had some of its planned apps stripped out due to a lack of complete testing; only Google Talk was visible. It nonetheless starts up very quickly and can perform a full reboot in 25 seconds where even faster operating systems from others can only perform a cold start in the same time. Google has already said the software is designed to be lean and run smoothly on speed-limited netbooks and nettops.
Netbooks and other systems should start shipping in the second half of 2010 and will come from Acer, ASUS, HP and Lenovo, some of which are expected to customize the systems with keys specific to Chrome OS' launch menu.
Update: the initial poster says the posting was a fake that he hadn't intended would spread to the extent it has.