Race to Chrome is on, Acer early leader

The countdown to the first Chrome OS device has begun, with Acer claiming that it will be the first to bring a Google-powered netbook to market, in th

The countdown to the first Chrome OS device has begun, with Acer claiming that it will be the first to bring a Google-powered netbook to market, in the summer of 2010.

Acer Chairman JT Wang said that the Taiwanese company, which sells more netbooks than any other, has been working on a Chrome OS device since the middle of the year. This comes as no great surprise, seeing as Acer was the first to announce an Android netbook (albeit dual-booting with Windows XP), the AOD 250 (pictured).

However, moving to Chrome OS will be trickier than loading up Android. In order to rush out Chrome OS against the well-received Windows 7, Google is setting strict hardware requirements for its netbooks, including specific wireless cards and displays, and forbidding the inclusion of mechanical hard drives (although Flash storage is allowed).

Asus, the number two netbook maker, is likely to be right behind Acer, and HP (trailing a distant third) has also signed up to produce Chrome OS hardware. If you can't wait until next year, it is possible to get Chrome OS up and running today on an eeePC - here's TechCrunch's techy How To guide.