After Frank Gillett's initial opinion on ChromeOS, I'd like to point you to the ongoing discussion around Google's announcement.The discussion on twitter follows the #ChromeOS hash. Over the last days, you'll find my comments here. No question that ChromeOS is a strategic attack to Microsoft's Windows Desktop with its pre-shipped IE. Who will download IE, if you're not using Windows any more at all.
Really funny is for example this fake "Steve Jobs" blog post "Let's all take a deep breath and get some perspective"
While this is not all serious, there's still a lot of truth in it. Remember, Google is not only one of the most powerful innovators in the software industry, but also the big "Unpredictable". Take for example the huge confusion around Google Apps over the last three days. The free Google Apps Standard Edition suddenly disappeared from sign-on pages and only the commercial version for 50$ per user per year was on the page. After many people were totally irritated and uncertain about the future of apps, Google apologized for the accident and put up the free sign-on again. Bottom-Line: ChromeOS become really exciting if Google signs the first long term contracts for corporate networks. This will turn the OS out of the experiment into an predictable infrastructure alternative.
In the meantime, you can load for example Good OS on an older Laptop and see how fast a machine can run with any stripped down operating system. Let us know if you created your "FireFoxOS" successfully based on any of the small Linux distributions and leave a comment here.