Now that Google is creating their own operating system, a lot of things might change for the computer industry. However, Google Chrome OS will probably not be a Linux saviour because there is nothing to save. The GNU/Linux project is on the right track and is in no need of saving. It is flourishing and a lot of people are switching over. It is definitely going into the mainstream and it is a mature project. With Google coming on board with Linux, it will be just another distribution. We already have hundreds of them and several that are very popular and of very good quality that can compete with proprietary software.
Nevertheless, Google Chrome OS will be important because it will introduce more people to Linux. It will act as a gateway into the Linux world. A large company such as Google can definitely get a lot of people to try out Linux or switch over completely. This is important because it can increase the market share. Google has a lot of finances behind it and know-how. It can challenge a large and established company such as Microsoft. Once someone uses Google Chrome OS and they are not completely satisfied, they can switch over to other distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint Linux, Fedora, openSUSE, Mandriva or many others. Google Chrome will be just another partner in promoting the world of open source software. The more companies that are behind Linux the better for the whole open source community. Linux is definitely becoming a force to watch out for and a lot of companies are realizing they can no longer ignore it. Having Google supporting Linux and creating their own OS just proves that Linux is becoming very important not just for servers but also for desktops, laptops and netbooks. Google Chrome OS will be able to introduce a lot more people to the great concept of Linux.