When you're on your computer, are you online or offline? In 5 years, how often do you think you'll be sitting in front of a computer that does not have access to the Internet?
Some will say that the future of computing is all cloud-based computing. Who needs native applications on your mobile computer if you're connected to the Internet? If you can access all your applications on the "cloud," then it really won't matter whether you're running Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS-X, Linux, or Chrome OS. Slate tablets like the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab may also have the same computing capabilities as a laptop or desktop if we're relying primarily on cloud-based computing.
I hope that I'll have the opportunity to test a Google Cr-48 laptop so that I can see how Chrome OS looks and feels. If Google ends up taking a very aggressive approach with Chrome OS, will they beat Microsoft Windows? Where will Chrome OS rank as we compare Microsoft Windows, Mac OS-X, Linux, etc.? Chrome OS could quickly take the lead if Google were to give away laptops running Chrome OS. They could easily afford to do this if they ensured that every Chrome OS laptop runs with with embedded advertisements.