Google is launching a new operating system for the PC which it hopes will release Microsoft’s near monopoly of the market. Google already has been creating competitive software products with Google Docs that offer web-based alternatives to Microsoft’s Word and Exel but now they will launch Chrome Operating System that will go up against the Windows system.
The NY Times says that the system is initially aimed at the growing netbook market but that the software is fully capable of powering “fully fledged” PCs. Google seems to have eyed the boom in netbooks as an opportunity to make market change. The NY Times also reports:
Mr. Pichai and Mr. Upson said that the software would be released online later this year under an open-source license, which will allow outside programmers to modify it. Netbooks running the software will go on sale in the second half of 2010.
The company likely saw netbooks as a unique opportunity to challenge Microsoft, said Larry Augustin, a prominent Silicon Valley investor who serves on the board of a number of open-source software companies.
“Market changes happen at points of discontinuity,” Mr. Augustin said. “And that’s what you have with netbooks and a market that has moved to mobile devices.”
…That vision challenges not only Microsoft’s lucrative Windows business but also its applications business, which is largely built on selling software than runs on PCs.
Google said Chrome OS will have a minimalist user interface, leaving most space on the screen to applications.
Over on the Google blog, Sundar Pichai, VP of Product Management writes:
We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better. People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up. They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them. They want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files. Even more importantly, they don’t want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware, or have to worry about constant software updates. And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet.
We have a lot of work to do, and we’re definitely going to need a lot of help from the open source community to accomplish this vision.