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Google vs. Microsoft - a New Vigor in the OS Marketplace
By: Jeff Louis
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Nine months ago, Google entered the browser battle with Chrome, basically a no-frills, speedy browser. It is the direct opposite of Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), which is choked with features.

Google goes on the offensive yet again with the announcement of an operating system under the Chrome name, called Chrome OS. In its press release, Google states that the new Chrome OS is built in the same context as the Chrome browser -- light and speedy.

Some view Google's entrance into the browser space as a threat to Microsoft. While that may very well be so, let me remind you of a story:

Once there was a little boy that ran fast, faster than all of the boys, girls, and adults in his town. Yet, try as he might, he could never beat his best time. His coach, inspired by reading about the McDonald's' competition strategy, brought in a skinny sprinter from another city to race the boy. Lo and behold, the boy lost to the city sprinter. Worse, he lost in the next nine races. What he didn't know was that each of his losing times was better than all his previous winning times before the coach brought in the city sprinter. Determined to win again, the boy trained hard all the way up the nex... Okay, you get the idea. Moral: For the sake of consumers, Microsoft needs the competition so that it'll work harder and smarter to provide the best possible product.

Google's official blogger wrote on the The Official Google Blog regarding the release:

"Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work."

The blog seems to be taking a jab at Microsoft, especially when it mentions that Chrome OS users won't "have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates." Google realizes that it needs to produce something that's functional and applicable from the get-go in order to compete with its competitor. Google also knows that when Microsoft scrambles to work on a counter product, it makes mistakes. As a result, the end product tends to be ridden with flaws (e.g. Windows XP and its predecessor, ME). And with Microsoft's apparent Chrome OS challenger, Google is hoping that its nemesis will buckle under the pressure again.

While its less-than-perfect offerings may not be "the best possible product," as mentioned in the story, the fact still remains that Microsoft is continuously innovating and improving on its past results. The town boy may have lost to his opponent, but when analyzed individually, he progressed as a sprinter in the end.

Chrome OS is light and fast, but will it have the necessary juice topple Microsoft from its throne? Does it have enough pull to convince users to convert from Windows XP? As of now, there are too many questions, too many unknowns, and not enough answers. And for the sake of the readers, I will refrain from speculating as it might be received as truth by some readers that will in turn lead to the stretching of the truth. But one thing is for sure: we, as consumers, are the ones to benefit from this constant tug-of-war.


Comic courtesy of Federico Fieni



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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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