Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Chrome OS may still be vaporware, but it's reportedly garnering interest from Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) all the same. A Dell executive told Reuters that the computing behemoth is exploring the possibilities of releasing a Chrome-powered system.

Chrome OS -- Google's bold attempt to take on Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the operating system space -- is an open-source platform that strives for speed, security, and simplicity. It might not do the sort of heavy lifting that Microsoft's Vista can manage, but PC makers are warming up to the platform -- because it's free.

Right now, everyone is underestimating Google's chances to take on the Windows beast, but does anyone remember where Google's Android was a year ago? Here's a skeptical reader's comment after Tim Beyers covered Google's Chrome OS introduction last summer:

Google is a search company. They have as much of a chance of success as if they go after the smartphone market. Android vs. iPhone? Sorry Google, just another very bad idea.

I'm not singling out one commenter. I'm sure a lot of us felt that way last July, before Android phones went on to outpace the sales growth of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) mighty iPhones. If Android has succeeded against the iPhone juggernaut, why doesn't Google stand a chance against a beleaguered Windows platform?

Apple's Mac OS, IBM's (NYSE: IBM) Warp, and even a couple of Linux varieties haven't made much of a dent against Microsoft over the years, but that is because PC owners were tied to programs that ran only on Windows.

The climate's kinder these days, with Google Docs and other cloud computing apps besieging Microsoft's Office stronghold. Power users are unlikely to abandon Windows, but for the vast majority of consumers who need computers solely for web browsing, reading email, and some light word processing and web-based gaming, why not Chrome OS?

Once again, I'm left hard pressed to justify how Microsoft will be more relevant in a couple of years than it is right now.

Google OS won't be a Microsoft killer, but it could humble the folks from Redmond just the same.

Would you consider a Google OS computer for your next laptop or netbook? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz isn't much of a window-shopper, but he is a browser browser. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.