Google proved it was serious about the Chrome OS for cheap cloud computers when it kicked off a unique beta program last year. The company had a test device produced and sent thousands of Cr-48 notebooks to folks agreeing to test the OS and give feedback to Google. The sleek black notebooks didn't have many frills, but the new OS made it a coveted item to receive on the doorstep (especially being it was free). Google is winding down the program according to a tweet from VP Sundar Pichai, and will no longer be sending out notebooks.
Mid-year would imply Chrome OS devices, most likely notebooks like the Cr-48, will be coming out this summer. A few OEMs including Acer and Samsung have expressed intentions to have Chrome devices on the market, and this statement by Pichai implies sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see what the consumer reception will be to a cloud computer with Chrome OS.