As reported last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed during his Web 2.0 Summit Q&A session that the official launch of Chrome OS wouldn't happen for the next few months, indicating that Chrome OS products won't see the light of day until Q1 2011. Originally netbook partners such as Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba were slated to release Chrome OS devices in Q4 2010.
Additional reports now indicate that Chrome OS itself is still slated for this year, however the company is remaining tight lipped in regards to when and how. "We're not going into details at this point," a Google representative told TechCrunch. ZDNet also received word that Chrome OS would arrive this year in a preview version, and as "a test form on several new form factors."
It's assumed that Google's Chrome OS will arrive in beta sometime during December. TechCrunch points to the Chromium OS forums showing that the developers are still knocking out late-stage bugs, many of which are UI-related. This log shows six main issues preventing the release of a Chrome OS beta whereas this list shows 38 bugs that need to be addressed across the board. Another open issue reveals that Google is disabling certain features that contain "show-stopping bugs" in order to get the beta out the door.
Google released Chrome OS to open source this time last year. The company continuously releases the source code which in turn can be compiled and used as an OS. One of the more popular builds is offered by Hexxeh called Flow, and can be loaded using a USB stick or from a burned DVD.
Previously Google stated that Chrome OS was designed with keyboards in mind while Android was meant for touchscreens. This would indicate that Google may limit Chrome OS to netbooks and other keyboard-compatible devices while Android is primarily used on smartphones and tablets. Google's Honeycomb build of Android (v3.0) is supposedly geared primarily for tablet use-- manufacturers have even stated that tablet production was on hold until Honeycomb is ready for use.