Head over heels for gadgets!
Someone posted a link to the Google Chrome OS on Twitter this afternoon. Since it was for either VMWare or VirtualBox, I thought why not give it a go? The download itself is about 300MBs and was really quick. However, the VirtualBox image from GDGT didn't work for me, so I ended up snagging this image instead. This one did work. You should note that these builds weren't compiled by me or people at Google by but someone else. You may wish to make yourself an extra Gmail/Google account to try this out.
Please note, if you're getting the "No Network Connection, Offline Login Failed" you might want to try restarting the virtual machine or even your computer. Restarting my computer seemed to fix the issue, I believe that VirtualBox doesn't complete it's network (virtual adapters) setup until your computer is restarted but I could be wrong. Once you've actually gotten the image to boot you're prompted to login. use your GMail account info, or if you have a normal Google account (@Google.com) this will work as well.
Upon logging into the system, you're basically presented with the Google Chrome web browser. This is pretty much it. There's a Google Short links, which I assume will basically give you short cuts to all the Google Apps (Docs, Sites, Calendar, Gmail, etc...), but yeah that's pretty much it. Seeing as how this is probably pre-alpha, I guess it's a start in the right direction. I am not sure what the final goal for the Chrome OS is, whether it be simply a portal to your Google applications or a bit more of a fully featured OS. It may indeed simply be something you toss on a netbook, boot into and have almost instant access to your calendars, emails, documents from Google, but I am not sure.
Apparently you also cannot change the resolution, so you're stuck at the awful 800x600 for the moment. There's not much tweaking you can do to the system, you can see the battery status (which makes me think this is geared to netbooks/notebooks, and you can check on the network status (see if WiFi/Ethernet is connected or not). You can also play with the settings of the web browser (which is essentially the only thing on the system haha). That said, it's a neat idea and I certainly wouldn't mind tossing this on one of my netbooks when it goes final. When I use my netbook I'm never usually doing anything outside of my web browser, unless it's in a terminal so this would work quite well. I'm definitely excited to see it develop and mature!