Chrome OS and its associated hardware is really a new category of internet device that being a surfing appliance. It really is as simple to use as a toaster that you simply use and forget about till the next usage. Previous attempts at this were called thin clients for the enterprise user but this is the first one for the average consumer sponsored by Google. Any comment comparing its limitations to your normal MS or MAC PC is simply missing the point of this device which is usability and a hassle free appliance experience. This is what a PC would have been for the consumer if MS had not invented DOS and its subsequent Windows OS.
When you want an OS that excels in the two key areas of security and Web interaction yet you don't want the public to modify it or hack it to the detriment of other uses Chrome OS is certainly an option to consider. Two user areas that come to mind are libraries and schools where users throw anything they can think of to hack their PCs. This in turn causes the constant need to spend money on refreshing and fixing these PCs in two economic areas that can least afford to fund that support. A third area that needs to keep PC support to a minimum is small businesses. There are also several Linux OSs that meet this same criteria but they do not have the backing that Google has and continues to improve this product. If this purchased without the fee based management console you have only one option to present to the user that of a guest which presents a vanilla chrome browser. Coming is a kiosk mode that allows the owner to customize the chrome browser for the user.
I believe that the continued Google support will depend on how many of the above users realize the benefits of the OS and migrate to it over time. It was unfortunate for Chrome OS that the tablet wave crested when it was first released but it would not suprise me that Google merges Android and Chrome OS in some future release.
As for consumers if you have a use of a PC that mirrors the above users then given the support in depth Google offers it is now a viable option to be your primary PC. Time will tell for Chrome OS but given the brand of Google behind it I think anyone who buys one and has the proper match to its functions will be pleasantly surprised over time...........