Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Word on the street today is that google is going to release an OS! This is a BIG move into microsoft's territory. Even IF it's as they say just for netbooks, and basically an android follow on it's still a big move following on the heals of the browser release.

The Economist headline reads: Google v Microsoft: Clash of the titans. They point out that M$ still has about a 90% share of the marketplace and this OS is aimed at netbooks. The reality is, they say, and I agree, that it will be a big challenge. Still the timing, and the company (now and google versus sun 15 years ago) seem to be well placed for success. Google has turned everything they've touched into gold.

Cnet's coverage is also here with a more techie sort of view. Two nice summarizing paragraphs excerpted cover the authors opinion:

Google's general idea seems to be twofold. First, it wants to make it easier for regular people to use a computer by making an operating system that is fast, secure, and lightweight enough to run on portable devices.

Secondly, Google believes that through the use of Web standards like HTML 5--promoted heavily during its recent Google I/O conference as the development platform of the future--software development on a browser-based OS will be easily understood by developers reared in the Web 2.0 era.

I pretty much agree. Starting from scratch is usually a better way to do anything if you want to change. I think they can be competitive becuase MS is SO encumbered by backwards compatability they they can't be as nimble. Also as an IETFer and Open Source afficianado I think it's a good sign they are being open about it and using OS software, and (likely) well documented open protocols.

Google already has attacked MS on the Applications front with google aps. Not only are they well featured, but they are instantly shared and have versioning! I've been using these simple free tools for a while to do work and collaborate.

Still the reality is that google is going major now. I predict 5 years max until they are no longer a a darling, and begin to have some of the problems all incumbents always do. Hopefully the competitive pressures of being a Web 2.0 and web services based company providing a service will mitigate some of those issues and they will be a company of the future. I'd love to be wrong.

A good article I always think of when talking about these subjects is Robert Cringly's 5% solution. He talks about how companies will no longer be able to be lax about improving their products if they want to survive in the future. This is also the future prognosticated for ALL industries by one of my favorite references, natural capitalism. They also agree, but for the bigger picture, that providing services instead of things people buy up front, you encourage producers to be effective and efficient.

I welcome people's feedback.

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