Google has announced a new Chrome-based operating system. Of course, if you read blogs like mine, there’s no way you didn’t already know that.
It amazes me how many people assume Google wants to drive Microsoft out of business. From a ZDNet article: “The Chrome OS is a direct attack against Microsoft’s lucrative – albeit vulnerable – Windows operating system.”
“Lucrative?” Isn’t Google’s OS free? “Vulerable?” Most people don’t know enough to change browsers, let alone operating systems. Most of them want it to “just work,” not to be forced to learn new things.
Maybe, deep inside Google, in the minds of some of its most hardcore decision makers, Microsoft is the evil empire, to be vanquished heroically. But on a more realistic level, I think Google is happier when there’s more competition, not less. If you listen to many of the comments surrounding the release of Chrome and its source code, there is a distinct sense that Google itself is better off if there are a dozens major browsers, all competing and driving standards adoption and development.
So too, I think, with operating systems. Google is designing an open-source system that will, hopefully, lead to the creation of additional platforms and push others to make their user experiences better.
Google isn’t trying to take Microsoft down, but encouraging a more competitive marketplace, in the hope that competition will keep everyone innovative and honest.