Google this afternoon announced the creation of the Google Chrome Operating System project, with the goal to build a Linux-based OS available for purchase on netbooks in the second half of 2010.
The search giant said in a blog post that most of the user experience will happen on the web, and the interface will follow the minimal Chrome browser aesthetic.
"As we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work," the company said.
Google said that it had already been talking to partners for the project, although none were named. The project's source code will be open sourced later on this year and is intended to run on x86 as well as ARM chips. A new windowing system will be created to run on top of the Linux kernel.
Harking back to the original third-party application development model for the iPhone, Google stated that application development will be web-based.
Google stressed the separation between Google Chrome OS and Android: the former is targeted at users spending the majority of their time on the web on netbooks and full-blown desktops whereas Android is aimed at phones, set-top boxes and netbooks.
"While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google," the search giant said.