Google's vision for Chrome OS isn't going to replace what is on your desk now ... unless you are working and reading this on a netbook, that is.
If you are — my condolences — that's no way to live. Netbooks are good for fun stuff, but they aren't great for getting work done. Cramped keyboards, slow processors, small screens are no way to live. If you spend time on your computer, as lots of us do, every optimization saves us lots of time and money
It reminds me of the Chris Rock sketch where he mentions that, "you can drive a car with your feet, it doesn't mean it is a good $#@#%ing idea".
Google is realistic about this though. Google doesn't want the desktop market, at least initially. They want to own the Netbook market. Even with (or should I say because of) the lousy economy, this market has been blowing up for the past few years and continues to do so.
One major reason is because most Americans already have a PC, but more and more of us are opting for that second machine. The machine to take on trips, to use before going to bed or outside on the deck (and yes the bathroom, so I've heard).
Windows wasn't meant for Netbooks. XP was designed in 2002, 5 years before ASUS delivered the first Eee. Vista was a dog on Netbooks and 7 isn't much better (and is being crippled by Microsoft). There really just isn't a match there.
Google hopes to exploit this by not just designing an OS for today's netbooks. They are designing an OS for tomorrow's netbooks. By only utilizing SSDs and running all of their applications in the cloud, Google's OS will have a slew of advantages over Microsoft and even some solid Linux variants that don't have the mainstream branding that Google has.
But, like I said earlier, if you spend your day working on a computer, you are still going to want native apps for a lot of what you do. Even things like email and calendar often work better with a native application even though Google's work almost as good.
As a second computer however, Google's product seems perfect. Especially at the low netbook or lower prices.