John Dvorak writes about Google’s possible future plans:
If Google does a modified Firefox browser you can be certain that it will be optimized for Google searching and may incorporate shortcuts to make things easier for the user although you can expect much of its orientation will be aimed at promoting gmail and blogger among other Google properties. And it will probably be designed to be the front-end or client screen for perhaps a more secret project, the development of a so-called Internet OS to replace Windows.
If you follow the Google strategy their incursions are leading directly down a path often discussed during the late 1990’s — a browser-centric Internet OS. Netscape hinted about this possibility and Microsoft (MSFT: news, chart, profile) got freaked about it, since it would marginalize its Windows OS.
These concepts are not lost on Google. Think of the potential advertising revenue you can generate when you own the entire desktop environment.
And what’s to stop them at the operating system level? What about a Googlebox? An actual machine.
Since all the X86 computers are essentially generic machines made in China, why wouldn’t Google leverage its brand name and roll out the Google X1 — the “computer for the X-Generation!” It could probably get an Apple-like premium for such a machine and load it up with proprietary software too.