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Archive for July 15th, 2009
Software Development, Technology | 1 Comment »
If ever there was a battle brewing between Microsoft and Google – now’s the time.
The big question is – who’s throwing the first punch?
After the Chrome vs. Bing search engine battle, industy insiders have turned their attention to operating systems. More specifically, Google’s Chrome OS.
Google made waves last week with the introduction of its new operating system designed to compete with Microsoft Windows. And that it does, starting with Android, an open-source OS for small devices like smartphones, and Chrome OS, a browser-focused, open-source OS that will run on notebooks (ie Netbooks) and desktops.
In classic Microsoft style, it too announced it had something big up its sleeve: Microsoft Office 2010 which, like Google, will include free, online versions of its four most popular software programs.
These two companies have become bitter enemies over the years, yet oddly enough there are undertones of each within their OS’s.
The picture became clear when Wired ran an interesting piece on the ecosystems surrounding Google and Microsoft’s operating systems:
Microsoft would love for everyone in the world to be using its Internet Explorer browser to search through Bing to find a story from its MSN portal to email via Hotmail or Outlook to a friend. Add in a smartphone running Windows Mobile and an Xbox in the living room for the kids, and you have a Microsoft family. And though it is much joked about, Microsoft is the dominant platform for software developers of all types, whether they are making small business software, massive online role-playing games or photo-editing utilities.
Google’s ecosystem looks different. It starts with a Google Chrome browser (oddly running only on Windows) with a default homepage set to Google News or a customized Google homepage. From there you might go to Gmail and then click on a Word document sent to you as an attachment which Google will quickly — and safely — open for you in its online word processor. But most importantly, Google wants you to search and travel around the web, hitting web pages that run Google-served ads and Google tracking cookies. You might think that Google is a really cool company to give away all this free technology, while never thinking about the persistent and silent data collection Google is undertaking to profile you in order to deliver you to advertisers for a premium.
Now comparisons aside, there’s also a little trash talking going on.
Bill Gates took a public shot at Google last week, comparing Chrome OS to Linux.
“There’s many, many forms of Linux operating systems out there and packaged in different ways and booted in different ways,” Gates said. “In some ways I am surprised people are acting like there’s something new. I mean, you’ve got Android running on Netbooks. It’s got a browser in it.”
Gates also said it was hard to really say much about Chrome OS, since Google has said so little about how it will actually work.
Yes, indeed, the gloves are off.
But something tells me that Microsoft will be the victor here.
I mean, c’mon, who really uses a Netbook?
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