Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google Locked Horns With Microsoft Over Chrome OS

. Wednesday, July 8, 2009

By stockOzone team

Google today announced that it was launching a new operating system in its most direct challenge yet to the dominance of Microsoft.

Google Chrome OS is a development of its “Chrome” web browser. The search giant initially aims to put the new system on small low-cost computers known as “netbooks”, which have been selling better than more powerful personal computers. Google said that it believed the software would eventually be used on PCs as well.

The move is likely to intensify the rivalry with Microsoft, whose Windows operating system is used on the majority of the world’s personal computers. Operating systems help run and control the basic functions of a computer.

Google said that the project was a “natural extension” of its Chrome browser and said it was necessary because older operating systems were built at a time when the internet did not exist.

“Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS,” said Sundar Pichai, a Google Vice President, and Linus Upson, engineering director, in a blog post. “We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds.”

Google said the new software would be released later this year on an open source license – meaning that computer developers and programmers across the world will have the chance to use, modify and improve it. Netbooks running the finished product will go on sale in the second half of next year.

The company claimed that Chrome OS would change the focus of operating systems from controlling desktop PCs to a system designed to run the internet as fast as possible.

“The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way and most of the user experience takes place on the web,” said Mr Pinchai and Mr Upson.

But Google has a big task on its hands. Many companies and products have tried to take on Microsoft’s Windows in the past and failed. Despite much acclaimed systems such as Linux, some analysts estimates that Windows and other Microsoft products are used on more than 90 per cent of the world’s computers. Microsoft is set to release an updated version of its own operating system, Windows 7, later this year.

Google has repeatedly trampled on Microsoft’s territory recently. First, it launched Google Chrome, a web browser in competition to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It has also recently released “Android”, an operating system for mobile phones, which challenges Microsoft’s “Windows Phone” product.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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