It should not be news to anyone that Google is working on a 2010 release timeframe for its newly dubbed Google Chrome OS. What has been interesting is the chatter which has occured since then, many fingers pointing at Apple as the real beneficiary of this move. However, nothing could be further from the truth. What Google did was brilliant, very similar to its strategy with Chrome and I will outline it below.
Google is not the only one who benefits, any company largely hedging their bets on the Cloud and/or web based applications has something to gain, even Microsoft does, however, Google does not have a dominant office suite or OS, they need this more than Microsoft or other big players do. Their mental-market-dominance is the real force behind the change that will happen, not the quality of the OS they will release.
It becomes obvious that this strategy is mid-term in focus, Google is playing a game of Chess with Microsoft, with benefits being reaped slowly over time as their competition adjusts. What is the next move and is it necessarily by Google or one of its competitors?