updated 09:20 am EDT, Mon April 18, 2011
Google starts up stable Chrome OS branch
Google gave a hint that Chrome OS was getting near ready as the company has quietly started up a stable channel for the platform in the past five days. The move parallels what Google uses for finished releases of the Chrome web browser and suggests the OS is now polished enough that it's no longer experimental. It isn't yet ready for release since Google's Cr-48 is still getting the non-stable code.
When it provided an update on Chrome OS, Google had given a mid-2011 timeframe for the first production versions. Acer and Samsung might need a stable release soon in order to test and ship finished products if they release on the expected schedule. No direct signs have emerged for the exact timing, but Google could use the Google I/O conference starting on May 10 to unveil the finished version of Chrome OS and narrow down release plans.
Chrome OS was originally to have been launched late last year but was pushed back after it wasn't considered ready. The Linux-based platform is almost exclusively based around the Chrome browser, but it needs support for native-level code for special web apps as well as support for logging in, USB media, and other features regular Chrome hasn't required. [via The Chrome Source]