Google has announced that they will be launching Chrome OS soon. All the analysts are predicting how it will be competing against Microsoft's Windows or how it will power the netbooks with more features available off the web + secure environment.
What I am visualising is the advent of Chrome OS with a small kernel and Chrome browser kind of inteface.
Once the user boots up, the browser opens and takes the user directly to an Web OS kinda of interface.
The user logs into his/her google account and from here the user can access mails. documents, surf the web, listen to online music, store the personal files/documents etc online.
The browser is the only interface one needs to access any functionality.There is no need to install anything - applications, drivers etc as everything is maintained and run off the web.As everything is off the web, the collaboration among user's become lot more easy - file sharing, chat, VOIP etc becoming reality. Small companies will the early adopters as this means freedom from Tech Support for software - no worry from AntiVirus, OS, productivity applications and so on.
Google Gears will provide the offline functionality for most of the applications.
Read up more on the architecture of such an OS/Browser combination here.
All this means, the netbook can become even more lighter, leading to what I call is WebBook.