When Google announced it was working on an operating system specifically targeted at netbooks earlier this week, the company said the source code would be available later this year and netbooks running the OS would hit the streets in the second half of 2010. But a funny thing happens when you open-source an operating system. People don’t necessarily wait the better part of a year to start using it. So I kind of figured we might start to see some announcements before 2010, and now it looks like Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks the same thing.
Reuters reports that Schmidt says there could be announcements about Chrome-powered netbooks later this year. That’s not quite the same as saying that netbooks running the operating system will be available for purchase before 2009 is over. But it’s a start.
We already know that a number of PC makers including Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo are considered hardware “partners” for the project. It remains to be seen whether that means each of these companies will bring a Chrome netbook to market.