Google’s huge announcement this evening that it will push an open source, instant-on OS which runs on both Intel/AMD and ARM platfoms will be an interesting developement for Apple users. The new ChromeOS will make use of HTML5/CSS (like the Pre) which will allow applications for Chrome to also run on browsers (Chrome the best probably) on Mac, Windows and other variants of Linux. Chrome now looks like it is more a platform (like Adobe Air) than a browser.
The Chrome OS aims to be a simple OS geared toward Netbook-type devices. Google touts "Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS". The OS won’t be officially released for at least a year, but the hype surrounding it will certainly make other OS vendors take notice. The Netbook category is undeniably a huge space and Google hopes to get a foothold in it.
While it doesn’t seem to be in direct competiton to any of Apple’s current products, if Apple plans to release any products that fill the gap between the iPod Touch and the MacBook, there might be some overlap. It still may be time to reconsider that board seat that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is holding.