Barney's Blog

Blog archive

Google Challenging Windows?

A recent announcement from Google seems to be stepping all over what used to be considered sacred ground for Microsoft. On Tuesday, Google announced "Google Chrome OS," a new Linux-based OS to be publicly launched in the second half of next year. Chrome OS will run on netbooks, as well as desktops.

So far, Linux-based OSes haven't made much of a dent in Microsoft's OS market share. Linux holds just 0.6 percent of the worldwide OS market, according to StatCounter. In contrast, XP holds 68 percent of that share, while Vista follows at 22 percent. Mac OS X has a toehold with 4 percent.

Will Chrome OS be any different than other Linux OSes when it comes to battling Windows, which meets the legal definition of a monopoly? After all, Linux was the OS of choice when netbooks first appeared. Now, Microsoft officials crow about a 90 percent attach rate of XP on netbooks and claim that any Windows 7 edition will be capable of running on a netbook.

Still, Google's announcement suggests that things might be different this time. Google is promising security from malware and no constant updates. There's also a big incentive offered for developers: You write for the browser OS and run the application anywhere. ("For application developers, the Web is the platform," Google's blog states.) The appeal to developers is straight from Microsoft's playbook. Does Google have the clout such that application developers will write more for Chrome OS than for Windows?

Much remains to be seen. And meanwhile, Microsoft has a research project called Gazelle that treats the browser more like an OS. What's going on here? Will the browser become the OS of the future? Tell Doug where this is going at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Kurt Mackie on 07/08/2009 at 1:16 PM


Featured

  • Microsoft Offers More Help on Windows Server 2008 Upgrades

    Microsoft this week published additional help resources for organizations stuck on Windows Server 2008, which fell out of support on Jan. 14.

  • Microsoft Ups Its Carbon Reduction Goals

    Microsoft on Thursday announced a corporatewide carbon reduction effort that aims to make the company "carbon negative" by 2030.

  • How To Dynamically Lock Down an Unattended Windows 10 PC

    One of the biggest security risks in any organization happens when a user walks away from their PC without logging out. Microsoft has the solution (and it's not a password-protected screensaver).

  • First Stable Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge Browser Released

    Microsoft on Wednesday announced the first release of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser at the "stable" commercial-release stage.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.