What is Chrome OS trying to be?

Been saving this post for the change to Googleplex!

Is it still an OS that you need a constant internet connection for it to be useful? With the introduction of the new Desktop Chrome Apps I think Google is a bit confused. There are also apps like Docs that have an offline mode, so what's the difference there? On the surface the Chromebooks seem like great, simple products for students on a tight budget or the elderly but I just can't recommend them without knowing whether Google wants you to live in the cloud or if they are trying to make them more capable offline machines.