Google Rocks Microsoft with Chrome OS announcement

Clash of the TItans

Today Google announced that it will supply a personal computer operating system

…signaling a bold move on Redmond that will likely reverberate within big tech for many years to come.  The new operating system is to become available in beta form later this year, with broad availability during 2010.

Microsoft has been very vocally and publically working to get into Google’s core business – search and advertising – over the past few years. It looks like Google isn’t going to be held back from getting into Microsoft’s core business as well.  This is a good thing for everyone, as it’s bound to stimulate competition and innovation.  And it should become very interesting as it plays out; as this is definitely a “clash of the Titans”!

Early analyst reaction was primarily along the lines “interesting, but…”

It will take Google many years to budge Microsoft’s operating system market share.  But how many of those analysts have USED Google’s Chrome Browser, which will become the basis of this new personal computing operating system?  I have used Chrome on both Windows, and the Mac Beta version.  And Chrome is nothing short of sensational! This is why the Chrome OS announcement is something that Microsoft should be very concerned about.

StartupTrek sees Chrome as having a good chance of presenting a very strong challenge to Windows within a few years

And it’s going to be free.  The Chrome OS has a decent chance of becoming a highly disruptive entre’ into the personal computing marketplace.  Previous instantiations of Linux on the desktop have been tremendous technical achievement, but have proven too complex for ordinary consumers to use (drivers, command-line Linux, etc).  It is doubtful that Google will make that mistake, in such a critical desktop OS product initiative.

Chrome’s initial target market is said to be netbook style computers, which are disruptive to the laptop market in their own way, due to their low (typically $250-375) price point.  But many netbook users are displeased with the slow speed of this new generation of sub-note form factor laptop computers.  Google is talking sub-second boot times for Chrome, and you should expect Chrome to be pretty snappy running on netbook hardware, consistent with Google’s long-demonstrated design philosophies.

There is some overlap between Chrome and Google’s “Android” smartphone operating system.  Android is targeted at handheld computing devices and smart phones.  Expect to see some re-branding and probably a merging of the two brand names into one consistent Google OS initiative, over the next year.  The same thing is happening at Apple, with the pending “Snow Leapord” version of OSX expected to move it in the direction to looking more like the iPhone version of OSX, and vice-versa with iPhone updates.

This huge tech news (about the Google PC OS) was broken in this Wall Street Journal article. We will have our own take on all the various aspects of this, over the next few weeks and months as we net it out.

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