When we first started hearing about Chrome OS the browser-centric netbook OS was said to be launching sometime around now. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet as the OS is still being worked on. It could be however, that Google is prepping a small run of a Chrome netbook as it did last year with the Nexus One.
According to Engadget, Google is preparing a “friends and family” launch of a Chrome OS netbook for launch by the end of the year. The device would see a small production run of about 75,000 units and be available for Google employees as well as sold as a developer device. There’s no hard specs for the device, though it could be running on the Pine Trail Intel Atom CPU. The OS on the netbook would still be a beta version of Chrome OS, which would be fine for early-adopters, but should dissuade regular users from trying the Google-branded netbook.
The “consumer launch” of Chrome OS seems to be set for next year, hopefully early next year. With that launch we can expect netbooks from Acer and HP. For now, those of us who simply can’t wait that long for an official Chrome OS netbook just have to hold out for the end of the year, which isn’t too far away.