We have heard rumors about Chrome OS smartbooks from Acer and HP, and even a tablet variant from HTC, but it looks like Google will be the one getting things started for the web-centric operating system. According to DigiTimes' "sources from component players," the Internet giant is set to launch an own-brand smartbook this month running the new Chrome OS. The ARM-based smartbook is allegedly being built by Inventec and will not be selling through retail channels.

The approach is not unlike the one Google took with their Nexus One -- move forward development of smartphone hardware to match the needs and capabilities of Android. In July, Google CEO Eric Schmidt characterized the strategy as a success saying the Nexus One was so good in accomplishing this that they won't have to do a second one, but back then he also rejected the idea of developing a Google-branded Chrome OS netbook.

If DigiTimes' sources are right, Google will have 60,000 to 70,000 units ready for the initial launch run while Acer and HP will follow soon in December "at the earliest" with their own Chrome OS-equipped smartbook models. Asus on the other hand is apparently not committing to anything until they have seen how successful the new platform is.