It’s been a busy morning as the blogosphere and Twitter world respond to Google’s “bombshell” announcement that they’re launching Chrome OS sometime in the 2nd half of 2010. (that’s a long way from now). Already, folks who have never seen it, used it or spent five minutes with it are claiming it’s huge threat to Windows. (oddly, if that’s the case, wouldn’t it also be a threat to Apple and Mac OS, an argument I’ve not seen this morning.).
While it’s early to be dismissive, this is by far a slam dunk success. It feels more like another way Google is attempting to provoke Microsoft. Michael Mace says it well.
“We want to bleed Microsoft to death, and we’ve decided that the best way to do that is give away equivalents to their products. By creating a free OS for netbooks (the only part of the PC market that’s really growing) we hope to force Microsoft into a Clayton Christensen-style dilemma. It can either cut the price of Windows in order to compete with us, or it can gradually surrender OS share.”
Or to put it in simpler terms. Let’s once again poke Microsoft in the head with a really sharp stick.
Launching a new PC OS is not easy even if your target is a cloud. Targeting netbooks in 2010 isn’t the answer either. As I’ve pointed out, netbook are laptops with a pivotal axis of price. We’re seeing netbooks with 12″ screens, full sized keyboards and 300gb of storage. Does anyone think that netbooks aren’t going to evolve further? Consumers have overwhelmingly rejected Linux flavored netbooks for Windows capable machines that they could actually accomplish things on, such as run PC applications. What this clearly does do in my opinion is kill the idea of Android on netbooks (which never really had much of a reason to exist there). This will allow vendors to focus on where it needs to keep focus, as an alternative smartphone platform.
Right now, this all about Google putting pressure on Microsoft at a time when MSFT would rather keep the market focus on Windows 7, not some upstart Linux platform. By creating of lot of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt this morning (after all, every PC runs web-apps really well and no one is looking for devices that web based only for the most pat). they hope to take the attention and luster off of Windows 7 and that’s exactly what they’re doing. In the meantime. Show me the OS. Show me the apps. Show me the devices. In the meantime, there’s a lot of interesting stuff between now and the 2h of 2010 to write about it.