Oh wait, they're similar products for different devices and customers.
Chrome OS devices are the perfect netbook companion for most people that I know who own one. Many relatives of mine aren't that great with a computer, and they only use it to get to the internet. Anything that gets in the way of that for them is a big deal and can often ruin the whole experience.
To know, we need some decent laptops with touchscreens.
It seems like the best of both worlds will clearly be a tablet that docks to the bottom half of a laptop - so we get a laptop with a tablet that can be carried around.
I also think it's a fairly good long term bet. At the moment we're in this strange 'appstore' download applications era which is like being back in the 1990s. This current era will end once wifi etc is everywhere and the novelty value of downloading an application has worn off.
Obviously for a hardware heavy device such as a mobile phone, you need some specific OS to be able to interface with all the hardware, take calls, etc. But for a laptop, where the user is mainly just surfing the web, things don't need to be so involved. That's why I think both are necessary.
Seems a little gimmicky to me, and I don't see an OEM putting the kind of effort it would take to make it a seamless experience. Plus, when it's docked, are you going to have a trackpad with cursor? That would require a fairly major customization of Android to support. I don't see it happening.
Edit: And to test it out I've just paired a keyboard to the iPad and edited this. It works a treat - I might stop rolling with a laptop when I travel now. I keep reaching for a mouse though!
Compaq and some others made resistive tablets like you might be getting at a decade ago and one of the biggest problems was that they all ran Windows XP and were underpowered, so you just got a smaller, heavier, less capable Windows box you could draw on.
The hinge is a deal breaker.
Personally, I think a keyboard/touchscreen combination sounds great, but apparently we're in the extreme minority on this one.
Basically, you can think of ChromeOS as a bare-bones but specially optimized Linux with just one application running on it. (Google Chrome with certain extensions)
It strikes me that "merging" this with Android would be fairly easy! (As far as OS mergers go.)
Now that it's clear that tablets are huge
Yes, but workstations are not going away. Right now, tablets are more about consumption than creation. Cloud-usage patterns are also likely to be huge. I think laptops like the Cr-48 and the Macbook Air are one future direction.
(I don't especially want that time to update in real-time. I find it distracting when Facebook does it.)
I'm amused that they use the verb "tweeted" for a native FriendFeed post that happens to go to twitter.
In my mind, comments made on any public platform, whether it'd be on stage at a conference or on a public account of a social networking service, can constitute news if there's a clear angle.
I like twitter, but the reliance on this platform as a source is a little too much sometimes.
To me this is a great strength of twitter's model, not a weakness.
Perhaps I'm old-fashioned/alone in this view/mistaken.
For the record, I would never publish anything I would overhear at a restaurant, nor something that gets posted on a social site but for an intentionally limited audience.