Google Chrome OS – Beginning of End of Microsoft?

by Ramesh Natarajan on July 9, 2009

Google Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS

Google announced open source lightweight OS that is initially targeted towards netbooks. This is expected to be released in the 2nd half of 2010.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web.

Like most of you, I’m a huge fan-boy of Google. I strongly believe Google has changed our life for better. Google’s announcement on Chrome OS is not a surprise for lot of industry experts.

Following are some of the product categories where Google already has strong presence. The missing category is Operating System.

  • Advertising
  • Standalone applications
  • Mobile products
  • Web products
  • Communication & Publishing
  • Development Tools
  • Maps
  • Search Engine
  • Statistics
  • Hardware products

People are speculating that following are advantages of Google Chrome OS and the reasons why Google Chrome OS will be Microsoft Killer.

  • Open Source
  • Netbooks are relatively cheaper
  • Speed
  • Security
  • Portability
  • Compatibility
  • Simplicity

With the Google Chrome Open Source OS, is this the beginning of End of Microsoft? What do you think? Leave a comment.


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Irfan July 9, 2009 at 2:17 am

That’s gr88 , i am keen to use it , when they will launch their full featured OS.

2 puneet July 9, 2009 at 2:26 am

Nothing is going to happen to Microsoft this is only web people don’t think that google is afe people cant keep their data on google docs what else they are going to do

3 Amol July 9, 2009 at 2:43 am

Google chrome will be mainly linux kernel with google OS and UI bundled with google’s Apps. this will hugely benefit open source world as it will be backed by giant like google and.
Google Chrome will always be a choice for the end users who spend most of their lives sitting in front of the internet. And whole world will realize the potential of open source and linux. I am desperately awaiting release of Google Chrome.

4 Jonathan July 9, 2009 at 3:01 am

Today’s press have also picked-up on the “beginning of the end” theme. From Google’s blog it’s not clear what the Chrome OS is all about. There is mention of a new windowing system. So is Chrome OS going to be an alternative to Xfce and bundled as an alternative distro to something like Xubuntu? The clue might be down to the emerging HTML 5 standard and the name “Chrome OS”.

5 Ronny Polley July 9, 2009 at 3:06 am

I hope that this OS will not be a success. I have a lot of problems with the position Google has in the world of informations. They are today a bigger monopolist than MS was ever in his history, but the most people don’t see this. They are not concerned of what Google could do with all the informations they gather. And with an own OS this could become even worse!
Hopefully I’m not right with this…

6 bambambambam July 9, 2009 at 3:07 am

So long as Google put their considerable financial muscle into promoting the OS and getting it preinstalled on high-profile, mainstream devices (and there’s no reason to suggest they won’t), I can see this OS being a huge burden for Microsoft. The more penetration this thing has, the more hardware and peripheral makers will want to support it. And seeing as Chrome OS is based on Linux, this means more compatibility for everyone. The list of reasons always given about you shouldn’t use Linux will get just that little bit smaller. What do the shills have left in their armoury now? Crysis and Photoshop? That’s pathetic. These arguments cannot sustain for much longer. And it’s about bloody time. At the very least, Microsoft are going to have to compete for a change. It isn’t going to be a walk-over any longer.

7 GraphiteCube July 9, 2009 at 3:40 am

Why when a new OS appear, the old one must end?

I think those OSes will co-exist.

8 Irfan July 9, 2009 at 4:20 am

it depends because old OSes have strong root, it will not be an easy task.But no of peoples will try this new OS , because of Google’s good image in market.

9 cra July 9, 2009 at 4:22 am

I think if Google won’t **** up the usability due to linux-based distro, it will kill MS Windows eventually.

10 Brian July 9, 2009 at 5:26 am

All Google needs to do to get a start is to replace Windows XP ?

11 Brian July 9, 2009 at 5:31 am

Yeah……… so then, for Micro$oft to maintain mind share as new machines are sold, won’t they need to just GIVE away their old winner, Windows XP?

12 Jonathan Brown July 9, 2009 at 6:41 am

“Why when a new OS appear, the old one must end? I think those OSes will co-exist.”
—– We are unixers, so we sort of get off on the idea of the beginning of the end of MS

13 deadned July 9, 2009 at 7:48 am

google is writing it atop the linux kernel. So, i imagine it will be a lot like gOS.

14 matthew July 9, 2009 at 8:22 am

My big question (as always) is: How will the publishing company (google) make money on this product? Will it have pop-up or windowed adds built in? will they sell select “Non-personal” information? How does this make money for Google?

15 Heeter July 9, 2009 at 8:33 am

Nothing will Kill of Microsoft’s domainance of desktop Windows. Linux and Mac have been at it for years and nothing has come of it. And I say this from being a daily Linux OS and Google App user. Chrome is based on Linux Kernel anyways. If anything, I think that Chrome will take away more market share from other distro’s, more than taking market share from MS.

16 Heeter July 9, 2009 at 8:37 am

I forgot to mention only if Google can advertise like mad and win over the crowd in anticipation, and win over all device manufacturers to create drivers, then they will stand a chance.

17 Guy July 9, 2009 at 8:43 am

I also think those OSes will co-exist.
But to me, the most important thing is that open source is gaining some more field ! Very good news !

18 Gawain July 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

This could be the doom of MS Windows if done correctly. I’m a daily user. Like most daily users I hate microsoft but I still use windows because of its broad compatibility and simple gui. Most of MS’s software is too expensive for the average user/ family, and their registration/activation is simply a burden at best, a rape of my privacy at worst. Over the years I’ve had to make do with what I could get. Sometimes that’s what’s preinstalled, sometimes its old disks you’ve bought or borrowed. I hear some people even download things illegally. It didn’t have to be that way. MS’s greed has cut a large market share, and their focus on wringing our pockets dry instead of producing better, more effective products has created an environment where people like me are frustrated and angry, and feel trapped by MS.

I’ve tried Linux in the past. I love it in philosphy, but the amount of configuration that must be done outside of the GUI, the lack of product support, and compatibility issues have long kept me from taking it seriously. Can Google give us an OS that’s widely compatible, stable, effective and even free? It’s asking for the world, I know, but I hope so. Can they make it profitable? Some Linux companies seem to be doing just that, despite the fact that you can go to their websites and download the whole OS. A full version of XP Pro (you know, the stable one) runs close to $400. Office 2007 retail is almost $300. They’ve got to be kidding. What family or individual can do that? If I can walk into Best Buy and purchase Google OS with office software for $40, why wouldn’t I? It’s reasonable, and at that price who’d even bother with the download when you can just buy it? Add in the fact that you can back it up, copy it, or even install on additional computers and you have a winner. People will still upgrade every couple years for the improved version, especially since it will be so cheap. This is a wonderful chance for Google to give MS an education about competition and innovation… you know, business.

19 Michael July 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

No way will it kill Microsoft. They’re just too big. It’s like people who thought MS would kill Apple with the Zune. It’s one giant versus another, but the latter is just too big to fall so easily.

Google Chrome OS: open source, good for netbooks, emphasis on speed and security? Sounds like another Linux flavor to me, even though I would say it’s safe to assume Google will make their OS just a tad easier to set up. With what we’ve seen from Linux, BSD, etc operating systems and how little of an impact they’ve had on Microsoft, I say that the most that will happen is that people will use Google Chrome on netbooks and still keep their MS operating systems.

I hardly think the Google OS is even intended to be a competitor to MS.

20 Ugo July 9, 2009 at 11:09 am

My opinion is that it will be a net system based on software running in the cloud and interacting through Google Native I/O Chrome browser interface, it’s very probable that the software will be oS

21 Raj July 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

Of the umpteen product categories in your list, Google has been very successful only in a handful of those, fueled by the Search engine, namely advertising, maps and stats. One more question on my mind is why another OS, and that too built on Linux kernel? Can’t Google pour in money to make Linux + the graphical desktops more sleeker and apps more better to compete/kill M$, instead of re-inventing another one ?

22 NARDI July 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

A small step for google, a big one for open source and a giant one for internetization =). Microsoft will lose a huge amount of users unless it makes it’s products more internet oriented.

Google chrome + google wave + google docs + … it is OS already.. just to put it together =) no wonder they came up with it.

I’ve heard, that there’ll be no popus etc. Google will just make many of more people using their current products, as these already contain adverts. And as it’ll be open source, I strongly believe in it.

However I’m a bit paranoic about this “leader of internet”, so I’ll keep on using multiple web search and gentoo, and try chromeOS at most in qemu to satisfy the curiosity =) .

23 Brian July 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Chrome OS for tiny netbooks only. It won’t scale to all your PC systems and sizes.

Moreover, expect that since Google search will always be bundled with the Chrome OS, you’ll always be giving up YOUR PRIVACY — everything you do, your entire session History, will be fed back right to Google.

What to do?

First, use Linux Mint 7. It is even more elegant and usable on the desktop and laptop than Ubuntu — http://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/23020.aspx

Second, fuse SRWare’s IRON as your browser – this is the Chrome browser but without any intrusion of your privacy – never any feeds back to Google about your session history!

24 runlevel0 July 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Well, MS is having a hard time trying to get rid of his biggest concurrence: MS Windows XP.
There is a huge amount of devices and companies using XP and eve shipping Vista preinstalled people are so used to it and there is such a big inertial force in the corporate world that even Win7 is doomed to fail.

MS two main (and only) cash-cows are operating systems and MS Office. I’m not going to bash neiher XP nor Office: XP is a decent OS, overpriced but it does it’s job, and Office is a good piece of software. The alternatives are surely quite good too, specially OOo and Koffice, but office is still everywhere…

But now Google appears with first a set of applications with the same capability of Office: Spreadsheets, word processor and presentations… and it’s free. And despite that what somebody says some comments above, you can indeed store everything in your hard disks if you want too. There is indeed an increasing number of small companies here in the Netherlands that are saving money in Office licences using Google Apps.

I agree that the apps may not e as powerful as MS Office, but they do their job, are compatible and not only is it’s licence cost 0 but also the maintenance is 0 (somebody remembers Microsoft’s Cost Of Ownership FUD campaign some years ago?). And you can access it everywhere: From your Windows PC at work, your Mac at home or your Debian GNU/Linux laptop somewhere else, instantly.

The whole world of computer is changing, software is becoming a commodity and personal computers are becoming more than a way of storing software a way to accessing it. Microsoft with it’s windows and office is too bound to the hardware, to the physical computer and will have to fight an uphill battle to be able to win a competing position in the online world dominated by Google and the free software. It may well be the end, it will at least be the end of the software industry as we know it.

25 madskaddie July 10, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hi there!

Google doen’t need to kill MS: as anything that grows big enough, they implode by themselves (vista is a clue;). Only dinosaurs (being huge) could survive long times and needed an external event to take them out (and they weren’t even human). On the other way, human monopolies fall by their inside (is Ballmer MS’s Nero? or is it the Titanic captain ? ;)

I think this could be an turning point on Linux (as the one made by IBM in the late 90s ). The Desktop myth is no longer the same as it was 5 years ago; People are turning their lives towards computers, the industry is maturing (I don’t believe in ever growing systems, so the crisis of TI market will definitely arrive and some will die- ?ms?, …). I’m no expert in marketing but I believe this is the “known secure brand” that might take linux (as a Desktop to get things done, not be overkilled in features that 99% doesn’t use) to peoples computer (not mobile, router or other embedded use that people already have, although they ignore)

This chrome OS is the answer to Asus (and others??) criticism: “Android not good to netbook”.

Being FLOSS, I’ll give it a try when Debian/Chrome arrives ;)
(no privacy issues will be raise then :) )

26 Ajith Edassery July 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I have a different view on it. To be frank, Google has been extremely successful on web products (advertising, search, map…) but when they took things offline and moved to hardware/system software area, I thought they have hopelessly failed. I doubt whether Search appliance or Google Android had the kind of impact that Google had dreamt of.

As for wiping out Microsoft, it may not possible in any mid term future. Though not everything they are doing is ethical, they have an established desktop market (plus huge app + ISV support) that is not very easy to encroach into. As for the OS dedicated to netbooks, I doubt whether that will become a dedicated market at all – typically a desktop OS should be used for netbooks.

Having said this, let us see if cheap or free technology takes any shape in the recession hit market in the next one or two years :)

27 runlevel0 July 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Well, MS will definitely not be wiped out neither in the short nor in the mid-term.

I foresee however, that they will be quite affected by developments such as the Chrome OS. The key is however that MS will have to make many changes as software is becoming every time more a commodity.

Regarding Android; well, that’s a completely different story. MS has never been a real player in the mobile market and the presence of WM5 and 6 are nothing more than anecdotes in a market lead by Nokia’s Symbian OS with a share of between 80 – 90%. The only alternative was until now the iPhone with it’s propietary OS and some flavours of Linux.

Android has actually started quites strongly in the EU hand in hand with the hardware producer HTC. I have been able to see the HTC Magic working and it’s really impressive, specially the Augmented Reality applications powered by Google Maps. If Android becomes a serious competitor of Symbian it can also become an advantage to have a desktop OS such as Chrome that seemingless integrates with Android. I would even be an advantage for mobile phone companies taht could integrate the same drivers and hardware used in Android mobile phones on netbooks, it would even be possible to simply extend Android modularly to be used as a desktop system. I have seen Android and it’s a full blown Linux system, it even has a propper shell (!)

28 fikhi July 17, 2009 at 6:41 am

wew,,, i really need it

29 sammi July 17, 2009 at 9:24 pm

agree. google’s open soucrce os and it’s influence on developer community is much better than MS. I think the only big reason we need microsoft it that so many machine has been controlled by its OS. If Google can provide a better, open source and free os, why all of us should listen a company how should we compute? MS should not have the power to define the way developer should know , should use or …. Google will give us more freedom, that’s why MS should be history soon.

30 Mohit September 29, 2009 at 5:34 am

No way Ramesh,
It’s a google’s step very similar to Linux and Mac, but were they successful? Google can be web 2.0 king but it can’t rule desktops. Microsoft will remain the king coz it’s in people habit to use WINDOWS to lookout…

Windows will always rock!!

31 leo October 4, 2009 at 1:17 am

five years back i wrote to Google team why do not you launch a new OS? to kill monopoly of Microsoft?, Google spoke nothing during all those five years but they did a real work. it is me the happiest person today.

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