Image via WikipediaGoogle's Chrome OS was just announced, and it is poised to compete directly with Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Moblin Linux, and Windows 7 Home Basic, but the new OS isn't planned to ship with netbooks for another year.
Chrome OS will basically be the Linux kernel, a new windowing system (which I assumes means something other than Xorg, and not just a window manager), and Chrome. There will be no other applications. ("There is only Zuul.") All applications will be web apps. It will run on ARM and x86.
However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.
Moblin emphasizes on-line possibilities, too, but has many more local applications to connect with.
UNR sits slightly above Mobin, with a standard operating system and an innovative interface.
And then there's Windows 7, which will "run" in 1GB, but sertainly won't be a speed demon. Even though MS dropped the hard three-application limit, you'll still be limited to somewhere near that number by RAM requirements.
I predict those levels are basically how the market will break out, too. The ultra-cheap netbooks based on ARM and intended solely for surfing will get Chrome OS; Moblin and UNR will take the low-end of the marke; and Win7 will get the top 50-70%.
That's just my prediction.