Google Chrome OS – a game of chess

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.

The key to the Chrome strategy is that Google does not expect to get a large chunk of market share, what they want is to put pressure on Microsoft and Apple to add features similar to what Chrome OS has, which by nature will be very Web-centric.  This minimalist desktop approach that is tightly bound to cloud services is the core of Chrome OS, Microsoft and Apple will be forced to make adjustments that will be in Googles favor, just to compete.  Google is really in a win-win situation, as it was with their Chrome browser, that has a minimal amount of market share but was the initiator of more browser wars focused on Javascript speed and more stable browsing; both of which are central to Google’s cloud services taking off.

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?


18 responses to “Google Chrome OS – a game of chess

  1. Pingback: Bloggers who were absent the day they discussed run-on sentences « Doctroidal dissertations

  2. You raise valid points.

  3. People talk much now about battle between Google and Microsoft, while they forget that the biggest winner would be whole Linux-family and Open Souce, getting better device support in future.

    Let’s say it clear no Fedora, no Ubuntu, no Debian etc could lost anything in this Google Chrome OS operation, instead they will win quite a lot without doing much for it.

    That’s why fans of Linux have said wellcome to Google. I don’t know hardly any current users of Linux-distros who are gonna jump to Google except some currious try of course.

    • Chrome OS is going to be linux based so this is only a positive thing for the Linux community. However, realize that many of the initial users of Chrome OS will be moving from other traditional Linux distros. I don’t think many Mac or Windows users will be jumping ship, at all. Also, notice if you ever go to a linux conference, half of them are using Macs 🙂 I love linux, but i love hibernate and sleep on my laptop more.

  4. Pingback: Google Chrome OS and Microsoft IE OS “Gazelle” « Double Backslash

  5. an interesting point indeed.

  6. Finally someone who gets it! It’s about setting the agenda.

  7. Microsoft’s response is obvious. Make their flavor of cloud apps work better with Windows/IE than with any other OS/App combination.

    So the issue is still the same. If people follow MS applications (and if its partners join in developing for its cloud flavor) competition suffer. In other words, the battle is between Microsoft Cloud and others. Microsoft will leverage its current monopoly to win that battle.

  8. To techczar:

    I think you are wrong. You confuse the Linux & OpenSource community as a whole with the linux distros in particular: They might suffer, but being all opensource they’ll all benefit from the advancements made by ANY of them, even the Chrome OS distro itself.

    For instance, using your own example. With Google pushing it I expect more (most?) vendors to FULLY support suspend&hibernate on linux AT LAST!!!

    I also expect they (Google) fix the audio support mess and put an end to the ALSAvsOSS4 wars.

    I am also VERY interested in seeing what they use instead of the X windows server. That could be the end of that legacy ( that is responsible for making the advancement of linux too slow in the graphics area, specially in 3D.

    Other distros might lose some market share for a while… or maybe not, don’t be so sure.

    What is sure is that all inprovements and new techonologies (being OpenSource) will be assimilated within the OpenSouce and Linux communities, including competing distros.

  9. As “cloud” computing matures, the computer OS matters less and less. Stability, security, responsiveness and boot time are what will determine which OS is ‘better’. GNU/Linux is what most people will end up using, imo. MS has a huge battle mainly because of their malware problems and price. Why buy a less secure, less stable, more resource hungry operating system if all you are doing is up in the “cloud”? Netbooks were aimed at the “cloud”, but MS wisely chose to turn people away from that and convince mfg’s to install a full Windows operating system. MS can’t afford to have people leave the beloved Desktop because that is where MS makes its money(MS Office). I applaud Google’s move, it is smart and likely to be lucrative. Good luck Google and MS.


    Alex C.

    • Alex you make some excellent point and I believe in an ideal situation that may in time become true. However, think of it this way. You can still buy cars as manual transmission (today’s OSs) or automatic (the cloud). For years to come many people will prefer the manual transmission because it offers them more control, etc. Even though it might be obvious that the automatic is more well suited for MANY situations. Microsoft will survive by adjusting their game, putting office online and having a standard solution for those who do not have consistent or high speed internet.

  10. To rm42

    It is still to see if Microsoft can make the same impact on the Internet as it did on the OS market.

    I particuary think it’s not so easy, there is not so much inertia, there are NO OEMs “to bribe”… And microsoft, historically as ALWAYS run away from the internet, they just DON’T like its freedom (I suppose)

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