Friday, August 28, 2009

Is Google Chrome OS a rival for Microsoft Windows? Or Something else?

In this blog post on the Chomium OS Central blog there is a discussion of whether Chrome OS will be a rival to Windows.

Quotes in that blog from Phil Balmer and Bill Gates indicate where they stand on this question. Summed up they have Alfred E. Nueman's "What Me Worry?" viewpoint. (Bill kinda looks like Alfred doesn't he? :-) )

So clearly Phil and Bill don't get it.

It's not about whether the computing technology is new or not. Disruptive technology rarely is NEW technology. Thats why they call it "Disruptive" versus calling it simply "NEW".

The key enabler for the broad adoption of a truly thin OS with focus on cloud based apps (Chrome OS on netbooks) is all about the availability and adoption of broadband. As the fast internet connection becomes fully available to you pretty much 24/7 everywhere you are, your use of web apps becomes dominant.

Just ask yourself: When is the last time I spent even 30 minutes working on my computer or laptop doing productive work for my job with no internet connection?

Likely it was when you were last on a plane. But at any one time in the US there are about 5000 commercial planes in the air carrying maybe 100 people on average per plane. Thats 50,000 computer users max at any one time who can't do web apps work. Not a big deal really. Plus now airlines are rolling out internet connection on flights. So even that is not a blocking problem.

Chrome is certainly NOT a rival for Windows. It's an alternative for a growing segment of the computing user population!!

And that is the heart of what makes (Chrome OS + Ubiquitous Broadband) a disruptive technology to an incumbent and currently dominant technology provider like Microsoft.

Every dog has it's day. Microsoft has had 25 years worth of days as top dog. All things pass into history and now MS must change to play a new role of it will not be relevant in the future.

What do you think? I want to hear your comments.


  1. I think that about 95 percent of computer owners use a computer at home for web browsing, maybe a little reading and writing documents, I believe the development of an operating system easy, quick, convenient, she will replace Microsoft's operating system, then Microsoft will remain with 5 percent of computers that still need an operating system consume heavier.

  2. great point of view! especially that chrome OS is not in fact a rival for Windows.. is rather an alternative for computer users population.

  3. Thanks for the comments folks! Good point about MS and the "5%". MS will become a niche OS player over time for those small percentage who demand the old way of doing things.

  4. It all depends on how much ecosystem chromeOS could generate in short time. Windows has his position only thanks to constant effort of application developers (and easy to use SDK). Being myself a beggining Android software developer I can see that google is capable of doing this. What can stop peaople from buing FREE Operating System that has capabilities of its payable contender: lack of applications (ecosystem).

  5. smocri: I agree with you about need for the ecosystem. In the case of Chrome OS I think Google's goal is to co-opt the Web2.0/Enterprise2.0 Cloud app ecosystem as the Chrome Ecosystem.

    That already represnets a very large community of developers and 3rd party partners. Some of them very big like and other pure web based apps.

    What becomes the real disruption I think for Microsoft is they themselves are about to offer a full cloud based version of their office suite. So they will by defauylt then become the most important member of Chrome OS ecosystem and by doing that disrupt their own business model.

    The irony here is Google is not killing Microsoft with a Chrome OS "sword". Google is creating the Chrome OS sword, embedding it into a "stone" and then Microsoft is going to come, draw the sword from the stone and then, by making Office available to users via Chrome OS netbook browsers, will fall on that sword of it's own volition.


Tell me what you think!