Another good idea. Won't amount to much though...
This is clearly 'the next big thing'. And probably like about 95% of such monumental changes, it will amount to nothing in the real world.
I think the biggest positive about Google's move is that it continues the trend of trying new ideas and options. If companies didn't try new things, we'd stagnate and all be sitting here with run-time Windows (or GEM!) and Word Perfect.
From an ergonomic viewpoint, particularly for people who have a low number of 'simple' apps, that they use intensively, the laptop form-factor just doesn't cut the mustard. But that's an easy one to solve (so why is the Chrome desktop unit not out yet???).
I think the whole ChromeOS device is confusing two major elements; replacing conventional 'fat' devices to reduce IT support costs (that far exceed the capex purchase costs) and also introducing the concept of cloud computing.
As a new client device, it offers little that can't be had from Wyse type terminals in the office and netbooks hooking back into corporate systems for mobile people.
As a new model of managing data and deploying (cloud) apps, the world - by that, I mean the vast majority of major companies - just will *not* release their sensitive data to some foreign company.
It's rather ironic that in an attempt to answer functionality criticism, Google are offering a more capable local file system. For all the imperfections of todays corporate IT, Google may end up making Chrome far more like existing OS's, just to get acceptance (and meet real every day needs), and that's going to lead to the mother of all compromises.
In a world with 6 billion people, you can always find a market for a new idea. ChromeOS may be relevant to some people, but it won't change the world, nor the way that we work. But good for them, for trying!