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Maybe too early for a definitive answer, but since Chrome OS is open source now, somebody might have an idea of minimum hardware requirements.

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It is highly doubtful that ChromeOS will support the XO:

  • XO had extremely limited RAM and Flash, reflecting the hard economic challenge of hitting the $100 price-point. Google can't even get Android 2.0 to support all of those paying T-Mobile G1 users (2.0 won't fit in the limited memory of the G1). RAM got much cheaper than the XO designers anticipated, but those systems in the field won't be upgraded.
  • The XO did not have an SSD --- it had raw flash that had to be addressed through the JFFS2 file system. Android 2.0 has YAFFS2, so the code is out there to work with raw flash, but it is unlikely that Chrome OS will have that code or that anyone will do the integration.
  • The XO's have dramatically less CPU power than the current generation of netbooks. WHo is going to optimize for something that runs that slow?

Of course it is "possible," in theory, if someone wants to throw a few hundred thousand dollars at the problem. But what's the incentive to spend the money to make a circa-2010 operating system run on a circa-2007 laptop that was never a commercial success?

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As it is going to be open source, I don't see why not... However, out the box - I don't think so.

The people behind OLPC are not on the partner list and the specification are not at all sufficient from what I heard in the webcast earlier today.

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There would need to be a considerable amount of customization to the software in order to make it handle the hardware.

For one, the much-loved screen technology has a very odd dot pitch--running rdesktop to a Windows will reveal that. It also runs at 1200x900.

Only "certain" SSD chips are supported--and I'm fairly sure the XO is not using one of them. The Marvell wireless chipset will need to be handled, as will the power savings functions and the definitely-not-qwerty keyboard layout.

Speaking of that layout, the "rotate screen" button and the screen backlight / mode switches would also need to be custom coded.

And Chrome may not be optimized for an AMD Geode 433mhz--it'll probably be optimized for whatever Intel Atom 1.6 is in vogue at the time.

So...quite possible, but also not likely without a community-led effort.

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