Google doesn’t plan to officially release its Chrome operating system for netbooks until this Fall at the earliest. But that’s apparently not going to stop Acer from showing off a few prototypes using the new operating-system-in-a-web-browser (or is it vice versa?). VentureBeat reports that several sources are saying Acer will show off devices powered by Chrome OS at the Computex trade show in Taiwan during the first week of June.
It’s not clear if we’re talking about netbooks, tablets, or supercomputers here — although my money’s on the last first one. But while VentureBeat makes it sound like you’ll be able to walk into a store and buy a device powered by Chrome soon, I don’t think that’s the case. Computex tends to be a place where companies can show off new products that might not hit the market for months. And as I’ve already mentioned, Google Chrome is still in the early development stages and Google doesn’t expect to release a stable version until later this year.
Google hasn’t publicly stated when Chrome OS will be ready for consumers, but when the company released the source code last November, some of the folks working on the project said it was about a year out — which means we might not see Chrome OS netbooks and other devices until this November.
The Google Chrome operating system is designed to change the way we think about and use operating systems. The only real app will be a web browser. This will let Chrome OS devices boot quickly and you’ll be able to get online in a matter of seconds instead of minutes. Of course, there are plenty of things you need from an operating system in addition to a web browser. But Google is working on ways to let you do things like print documents, read web pages offline, and even play games that are a bit more intense than the usual Flash-based casual games available today.
Right now, it simply can’t do many of those things, which means that Google Android, Windows, or Linux make a lot more sense on mobile devices… which is why I seriously doubt that we’ll see Acer actually release any Google Chrome-based devices next week. But we might see some demonstration projects, which would still be very cool.