When Google released the beta for its Chrome web browser in September, it it led to discussions about the idea that in the future, web applications could completely take the place of traditional applications. Computers would no longer need OSs as we now know them; they would only need to run a browser. A recent product announcement brought us a little closer to that future.

In a press release Monday, Good OS announced a new OS called Cloud. According to the release, Cloud boots in seconds to a web browser (it doesn’t say which one, but pictures on the Good OS website look a lot like Chrome) running on a compressed Linux kernel. If you want to run something other than the browser, you boot to Windows XP, which will also be preloaded on computers preloaded with Cloud. The release says Cloud will soon come with some netbooks.

Internet access is what netbooks are for, but netbook purchasers seem reluctant to leave Windows behind, even for a performance boost. An official at Asus, manufacturer of the Eee netbook, has been quoted saying Eee netbooks loaded with XP outsell those loaded with Linux in a 7 to 3 ratio. This is despite the fact that the Linux versions boot and get to a web browser more quickly than the XP versions