Everyone's guessing what Google's new OS will be. Even in this article the author contradicts himself by saying it's based on Linux, then an extension of the Chrome browser code. Sorry buddy, can't be both. A Safari based browser and an OS are 2 completely different things.
Makes sense that it may be an extension of Android, which itself is based on Linux. But Google's implementation of Android is not nearly as compelling as Palm's elegant version of mobile Linux known as WebOS.
Apple made the decision years ago to go with a Linux based OS and it certainly makes sense. We will see new versions of Linux based OS's released by numerous sources because of cost, development, licensing and reliability benefits. No reason to reinvent the wheel. The GUI will be optimized to deal with particular user and hardware requirements, but the real challenge for mainstream consumer type OS's is dealing with the myriad of hardware and software interfaces that must be streamlined and reliable. Linux was years late getting USB drivers and installs right. The public will not put up with that sort of marathon geek wrestling match.
I welcome Google's efforts to battle with the "Evil Empire", but don't underestimate the difficulty of the real battle - making an OS work for the average Joe. It's a battle worthy of Leonidas. How comfortable is Sergey in a breastplate?