Google's ChromeOS, might be vaporware, but the idea of a Google built OS is an interesting thought experiment in design. Knowing that Google is engineer friendly, have a business based on search, and a tendency toward minimalist design, leads me to the following guesses:
- The paper paradigm is antiquated. Navigation will be dead, this will be a search driven OS. That means that they're gonna do something with the desktop, as in forget you had one. An analogy: If your current desktop is like the Yahoo homepage (cluttered, full of everything), a ChromeOS desktop will be like the Google homepage: a search bar.
- Apps? What apps? You're not gonna be able to run photoshop on this. You don't need to. This isn't designed for people who need apps. It's designed for people that do email, web, and word. All of which can be done in the cloud.
- You're not gonna see ads all over the place. Think Gmail ads, not google search ads. Small, inline.
- Local storage won't matter – the goal here, is to store all you data in the cloud. Besides, this is gonna be for netbooks, what data do you have that can't be stored in the cloud? Think about the difference between the Palm Pilot and the iPhone. On a Palm, you had to sync all of your data to bring it with you. The iPhone can store it all (even your music) in the cloud. ChromeOS will operate the same way. I'd expect to see a 3G modem, similar to the Kindle, built into devices.
Finally, for all those calling it vaporware, I say this: Google has yet to disappoint. The Android OS had a similar lack of information too. I have faith! :)