Google has officially announced that it needs developers, partners, and the open source community to get this operating system ready for use by next year. Google states that the new operating system will function entirely in a browser and that all application functions will be done online.

Here is what Google says will be great about the new operating system:

First, it’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn’t trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If your system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot. While no computer can be made completely secure, we’re going to make life much harder (and less profitable) for the bad guys

Most of all, we are obsessed with speed. We are taking out every unnecessary process, optimizing many operations and running everything possible in parallel. This means you can go from turning on the computer to surfing the web in a few seconds. Our obsession with speed goes all the way down to the metal. We are specifying reference hardware components to create the fastest experience for Google Chrome OS.

There is still a lot of work to do, and we’re excited to work with the open source community. We have benefited hugely from projects like GNU, the Linux Kernel, Moblin, Ubuntu, WebKit and many more. We will be contributing our code upstream and engaging closely with these and other open source efforts.

Does this mean that we can all dump Windows? I seriously doubt this will be the case. But what I believe will happen is that for many consumers this will be a viable alternative. For those who only surf the Internet, send email and the like; this may be ideal.

What I also see is that with Google behind the project this is going to be a giant shot in the arm for Linux and the entire Linux community.

So what do we really have? Sounds like some kind of a modified browser that will run Web application.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.