Google's Chrome OS project is almost ready for the masses, according to a report.
Digitimes said today that hardware companies in Asia are putting the finishing touches on smartbooks running Chrome OS, with the intention of shipping them later this month. Acer and Hewlett Packard are expected to launch Chrome OS systems in December, Digitimes said.
One interesting tidbit is that Google reportedly plans on selling a Chrome OS smartbook (an ill-defined term that seems to reflect an improved Netbook) under its own brand, similar to what it tried to do with the Nexus One. CEO Eric Schmidt hinted earlier in the year that such a strategy was in the works, but it's not clear how Google plans to sell such a smartbook: through carrier partners, direct from its Web site, or at retailers like Best Buy.
In any event, the Chrome OS smartbooks will likely coincide with the arrival of the Chrome OS Web Store, which will help make the smartbooks more attractive with additional apps outside of the stock build. Google has only said that it expects both parts of the Chrome OS strategy to arrive in the "fall," but most observers have expected the company to get everything out before the official start of the holiday shopping season.