July 09, 2009, 11:17 AM — The tech news isn't approaching Michael Jackson funeral numbers, but anything from or about Google and Microsoft spike the news traffic. And when the news can be slanted that Google is directly attacking Microsoft's operating system stronghold, with their new Google Chrome OS, news details and Twitters tweets fly fast and furious, and often falsely.
Google is taking a page from Microsoft's playbook by announcing products that are at least a year away in order to freeze the market. That may not work, because companies beyond the usual suspects are jumping onto the ever-growing netbook bandwagon. But Google certainly put some pressure on Microsoft and their Windows 7 launch as pertains to netbooks and smaller laptops, didn't they?
Many people miss the underlying philosophies that make the Google versus Microsoft battle so interesting. Microsoft is all about the desktop, fat operating systems that do everything, and Office productivity applications used by millions and millions of white collar workers. They have won the desktop and will leverage the desktop, and supporting servers, to their advantage at every opportunity.
Google, however, still lives by eyeballs on the Web. The more eyes, the more AdWord pennies find their way to the GoogleVault. A computer off the Net does nothing for Google, so they're looking for better ways to get users, especially those with netbooks, onto the Web and hosted applications like Google Mail and Google Apps and YouTube as quickly as possible. The Google rallying cry goes something like, “Net or nothing, and only chumps live on their desktop. All the apps and entertainment in the world awaits, one Google search away.”
Ignore those who say the Chrome OS rings Microsoft's death knell. In fact, ignore Google Chrome OS until you can get your hands on it. Wait and see what countermoves Microsoft and Windows 7 makes on netbooks, what comes from netbook operating systems from people like Intel, and how many new SaaS (Software As A Service) tools appear before we ring in 2010.