Google's Bid to Shatter Windows: Should Microsoft be worried about the search giant's new operating system? Not yet
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 13/07/2009 14:36
Silicon Valley watchers like to view the competition between Google and Microsoft through the prism of all-out war. And the search giant's announcement that it is developing a free operating system, dubbed Google Chrome OS, certainly seems to fit the metaphor: an invasion onto Microsoft's home turf, the bedrock of the $200 billion company, just as Microsoft's new search offering, Bing, has finally chipped away at Google's lead. (NEWSWEEK is a content partner of Microsoft's MSNBC and MSN.)
"Google Drops A Nuclear Bomb On Microsoft. And It's Made of Chrome," read one headline at TechCrunch. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called the operating system "a new cannon to shoot over Microsoft's bow." And pretty much everyone else described the news as a bombshell, an assault, or a bid for supreme hegemony.
Chrome vs. Android
Google's plans to release computer software were instantly seen as an attempt to tread on Microsoft's turf. The impact of the new operating system, Chrome OS, probably won't be felt in Redmond any time soon. Where Chrome OS will have a more immediate -- and, likely, profound -- impact is in Google's own backyard: on a project called Android.
The company's efforts will now be divided between potentially competing operating systems, and some analysts speculate Google will de-emphasize Android for such devices as netbooks. Software developers may also be forced to choose between the two systems, with many favoring Chrome OS. As a result, the quality and versatility of Android may suffer and it may become a less attractive option for makers of computers and other electronics. "Chrome will result in more fragmentation," says Andrew Brown, a director at Strategy Analytics, a consulting firm. "It also suggests Google may scale back [efforts related to] Android for netbooks."