Google CEO Schmidt: No Chrome OS Netbooks for Christmas

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said Chrome Operating System has been delayed, though no one at Google or computer makers believed to be building Chrome OS netbooks will say why.

Google's Chrome Operating System launch has been delayed, and the platform won't be available to launch on netbooks for at least the "next few months."

Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed as much to reporters in a Q&A session at the Web 2.0 Summit Nov. 15, adding that the platform continues to be targeted for devices with a keyboard.

Though he didn't provide a reason for the delay, he certainly shredded the rumor that there would be netbooks based on Google's Chrome Operating System launching this month.

Chrome OS is a Web operating system that Google is building to run on netbooks as an alternative to computers running traditional operating systems, such as Microsoft's Windows and Apple's Mac.

Schmidt reaffirmed that Chrome OS will support applications running in Google's Chrome Web browser, which now has more than 70 million users.

Google released Chrome OS to open source one year ago yesterday, claiming that netbooks from partners including Acer, ASUS, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Toshiba would launch by November or December 2010.

That's not happening even though as recently as September spokespeople for Google told eWEEK Chrome OS remained on track. Now a Google spokesperson said the company will provide an update later this year.

"We are very happy with the progress of Google Chrome OS, and we'll have more details to share later this year," the spokesperson told eWEEK.

eWEEK asked several computer makers about their plans for Chrome OS netbooks. HP declined to discuss future products, and Acer said there are "no imminent plans to launch Chrome OS netbooks in the U.S. at this time." Dell said it had no updates.

And so the guessing game begins: Why the delay?