With Chrome, Internet Giant Declares War On Microsoft’s Windows Operating System
IN a direct attack on Microsoft’s Windows Operating System (OS) — installed in over 90% of the world’s personal computers (PCs) — rival Google has announced its own OS, Google Chrome, to be commercially available by the second half of 2010. Initially, Google Chrome OS, which is linked to the company’s web browser by the same moniker, will be for netbooks, the low-cost computers optimized for internet surfing and other web applications.

The Chrome OS is expected to work well with many of the company’s popular software applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Maps. It will be fast and lightweight, enabling users to access the web in a few seconds, Google said. The new OS is based on open-source Linux code, which allows thirdparty developers to design compatible applications.

The move is likely to sharpen the already intense rivalry between Google and Microsoft, say analysts. “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS,” said Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, in a post on a company blog.

Microsoft India declined to comment while the Google India spokeswoman said the company cannot comment beyond what is on the blog. In a dig at Windows, the blog noted: “The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web.”

Microsoft, though. has claimed that its forthcoming Windows 7 OS, successor to the Windows Vista, has been built specifically for a web environment.

Google Chrome’s entry will force Microsoft to cut prices

THIS is sure to make the OS battle between the two software giants added spice. According to experts in India who declined to be named, the announcement could bring down the cost of ownership of computers and help increase PC penetration in India, as Microsoft will be forced to reduce prices of its OS. The cost of the OS is about 15% of the cost of the PC. Another industry watcher said that to succeed, the Google Chrome OS should be interoperable with various applications.

George Paul, executive vice-president, HCL Infosystems, told ET, “Netbooks (for which Google OS is initially targeted) will not replace office productivity devices, but will definitely become a second mobility device which people will like to carry in the future.” HCL is one of the largest PC sellers in India.

Vinnie Mehta, executive director of hardware association MAIT, said, “Competition will obviously benefit the consumer, as competing parties will try to lower the price and improve quality of their operating systems.”

The move is likely to sharpen the already intense rivalry between Google and Microsoft, say analysts. “Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS,” said Sundar Pichai, vice-president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, in a post on a company blog.
Microsoft India declined to comment while the Google India spokeswoman said the company cannot comment beyond what is on the blog. In a dig at Windows, the blog noted: “The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web.”

Source : “ The Economic Times” 08 July 2009