In a move that a number of Linux watchers have thought possible, Google is planning to enter the OS market with a Linux-based operating system. Read the story from Bloomberg here. The announcement on the Google blog is here.
Microsoft cannot be very happy about this. So far, their relationship with Google has consisted of playing catch-up, most notably in the search engine field, where Microsoft has failed to make much headway against either Google or Yahoo, despite successive efforts, starting with MSN search, followed by Microsoft Live Search, followed currently by Bing! At the same time, Gmail has eaten Hotmail and Yahoo mail’s lunch. (Google Docs has apparently made some inroads also, though I’m not and have no desire to be familiar with that, because I am not enamored of pushing my data out there, somewhere, in the cloud.)
Now Google is challenging Microsoft on their own turf.
Android has already started to make inroads in the netbook segment, and now comes Google with a fulll operating system. With the Google name behind Chromium, folks who historically have been reluctant to try an OS other than the one that came OEM on their computers might be more willing to consider an alternative to Windows, and manufacturers might be more willing to OEM something other than Windows.
An excerpt from the Bloomberg article:
Google said that while the Chrome OS is separate from Android, the two will overlap in some areas. The Chrome operating system is designed to save users from having to deal with viruses and security updates, Google said.
“Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-size desktop systems,” Google said. “While there are areas where Google Chrome OS and Android overlap, we believe choice will drive innovation for the benefit of everyone, including Google.