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TMFEditorsDesk (< 20)

Google Looks to Steal Microsoft's Lunch Money



July 08, 2009 – Comments (4) | RELATED TICKERS: GOOGL , MSFT

Lots of news about Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) this morning:

First, it'll be directly competing with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) by launching a PC-based operating system called Google Chrome OS.

From the official Google blog:

So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Google shares are up about 1% today; Microsoft is down 1% thus far. (I'd have a hard time believing this news surprised anyone, to be honest.)

And from the NYTimes:

After Five Years, Gmail Finally Sheds the ‘Beta’ 

What took Google so long?

Like many software products, Google’s Gmail service was first released with a “beta” label on it — meaning that while it was polished enough for public use, it was still in a testing phase, so any glitches were to be excused. Beta versions, which are sandwiched between internal “alpha” versions and final “release” versions, typically have a lifespan of weeks or months.

But Gmail was different. Released on April 1, 2004, it was still in beta five years and tens of millions of users later.

We'll have some coverage of Chrome OS ... check back a little later today. And let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

 -Brian Richards (MSFT shareholder)

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 08, 2009 at 10:05 AM, portefeuille (98.32) wrote:

Google Launching OS, Firing Torpedo Into Microsoft (And Apple) Hold (MSFT, GOOG, AAPL)

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#2) On July 08, 2009 at 10:39 AM, SkepticalOx (98.89) wrote:

Seems like a natural extension to me, especially from Android (the mobile OS war). Anyways, OS is almost irrelevant now considering a lot of the stuff we do is on the web. For the power-intensive applications though, Microsoft still rules (with Mac OSX nibbling away).

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#3) On July 08, 2009 at 10:44 AM, TMFRhino (99.26) wrote:

As you said in the post, this shouldn't really come as a surprise since Google's been talking with several OEM's about getting Android on netbook models. That being said, Chrome's a bit of a different approach. I like the idea of freeing up developers to work directly with web based programming languages rather than ones that communicate with the OS.

If anything, it just puts continued pricing pressure on Microsoft to price Windows 7 down to levels well below their typical expectations. I believe they currently get about ~$15/license on netbook licenses, which is down from the ~$60 they get from OEM's for a typical Vista license on a new desktop or notebook (those figures could be off a bit). Along with continued pressure on their business applications, it'll be interesting to see how Microsoft responds in the coming years. Still, I think Chrome has a pretty uphill battle ahead of it, especially on non-netbook systems. Even if Microsoft took one on the chin and lost some low-end market share, they'll still retain on their enterprise users and as an extension, most desktops at home. However, the business applications are more ripe for the picking.

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#4) On July 08, 2009 at 11:09 AM, TMFEditorsDesk (< 20) wrote:

Here's a link to additional coverage of Chrome OS and a poll:

- Katrina

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