I’ve already had a few folks question me on the announcement of the Google Chrome OS. “Is this going to kill Microsoft Windows?”, seems to be a common theme.
There is one major thing that Google has copied from Microsoft; announcing a product that doesn’t exist yet. According to the official Google Blog…
“…netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010”
This is more typical of Microsoft marketing to announce the availability of a new OS to start trying to redirect the consumer market. I’ve seen whole companies and products dissolve just by a product announcement which was still under development for a year or two. Now that the Michael Jackson news cycle is slowing down Google took the opportunity to strike.
Google also says “Google Chrome OS is an open source project and will be available to use at no cost.” Most of the articles I’ve read seem to think this will put pressure on Microsoft to reduce the cost of the new Windows7 or even force them to provide free Windows XP on netbooks. It’s a nice thought but some of these folks must live on a different planet.
I have a lot of respect for Google. I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t shown all their cards yet but if I still had any MSFT stock I wouldn’t be selling it. The well publicized XO (One Laptop Per Child) machines had a nice open source OS called Sugar. This allowed the price of the laptops to be under $200. The cost of including Windows would have added too much to the cost but guess what? Even the poor kids in under developed countries wanted Windows and the OLPC project failed to meet expectations.
So far, there really isn’t much known about Chrome OS. The Chrome browser will apparently be integrated into the OS which should open up fun, useless questions for government regulators. Developers have been told to expect an open source programming interface later this year. Only a few hardware vendors have acknowledged they’ll be looking at Chrome OS. As of today, Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba have admitted interest to the public.