Google Chrome OS
It happened finally! Microsoft woke up to the reality of its worst nightmare. Google quietly announced that they will be coming out with an OS by 2010. The manner in which the announcement was made is another indication of the new world order – an entry in the company blog. There were no press events or a fancy launch party to mark the event. Yet, the world went into a tizzy as news of this announcement spread through the channels. The common consensus is that Microsoft should be worried. Yes, they should be. Is this, however a sizeable threat to their product line? Lets face facts. We need Microsoft products. There are many reasons why anyone including Google are way behind Microsoft on desktop productivity. One, there is no product, free or hosted that is as good as Microsoft Office. Microsoft Powerpoint, in particular is the most used tool by corporate executives worldwide. Second, Google spreadsheet is a good replacement to Excel. It cannot, however be used for complex and long running computations. Another issue is the that of data privacy. I wouldn’t want my investment broker to hold my personal data on a Google spreadsheet however ‘good’ it may be. Third, and returning the specific case in point, Google chrome OS is targeted at Netbooks. For all the hype about the new age of life (only) on the internet, there are millions of people with real jobs and real computing needs well outside the scope of the internet. To this minority Microsoft Windows is still the most preferred platform. Ask architects using CAD tools, doctors using imaging tools, and organizations using SAP and other ERP tools. Until these people are eradicated from the face of the Earth, Microsoft is in business.