From NYTimes.com: Google Plans a PC Operating System
The software, called the Google Chrome Operating System, is initially intended for use in the tiny, low-cost portable computers known as netbooks, which have been selling quickly even as demand for other PCs has plummeted. Google said it believed the software would also be able to power full-size PCs.
Google has already developed an open-source operating system called Android that is used in mobile phones. The software is also being built into netbooks by several manufacturers.
But Google has not encouraged netbook makers to use Android. The company appears to be positioning Chrome OS as its preferred operating system for netbooks, though it said competition between the two systems would likely drive innovation.
It seems strange to me that Google is developing two different operating systems for devices that fill pretty much the same space, mobile devices. If Apple decides to compete against netbooks with a larger touch tablet there’s little doubt that they’d be using the iPhone OS.
Overall, I think that Google feels the need to dabble in a lot of things, but outside of search, things have not always taken off.