So, it's official. Google will release an operating system for x86 netbooks next year. Chrome OS will be based on a Linux kernel and will (apparently) be little more than a platform for the Chrome web browser and standards-based web applications. Already, a number of netbook makers—Acer, Asus, HP, and Lenovo—have started working with Google, and they may have systems ready for the launch in the second half of 2010.
That raises the question: can Chrome OS really compete with Windows 7? Microsoft's next operating system should already have a sizable chunk of the netbook market by the middle of next year, especially since Windows 7 Starter no longer has that oft-criticized three-application limit. Do you think Google can woo users with a bare-bones operating system and web apps, or do you expect Chrome OS to be relegated to bargain-basement systems? Feel free to voice your opinion in our latest poll. You can vote either below or on our front page.
In our previous poll, we tried to get a sense of how many TR readers have, or will soon have, iPhones in their pockets. Out of almost 5,000 voters, just over a quarter (26%) have iPhones now or will by the end of the year. A handful of those users (2% of the total) plan to trade in their iPhone for a non-Apple device, though.
Another interesting tidbit: even though the iPhone 3G has come down in price to $99, only 1% of non-iPhone users say they plan to get one. However, 8% say they're getting a $199 iPhone 3GS before the year is through.