So Google (GOOG) have announced that they are taking on Microsoft (MSFT) directly with what will initially be a simple operating system for low end PCs, an area where Microsoft are particularly vulnerable with their bloatware operating system. Windows Vista has been a disaster for Microsoft, with millions of users voting with their wallets not to use it. This has forced Microsoft to do a Lazarus act with Windows XP and to rush out Windows 7 to fix the problem.
Of course Google already have an operating system that is working perfectly well on lots of low end PCs, and that is Android. So it will be interesting to see what the new OS, which is using the Chrome brand, does differently. Are Google duplicating efforts or do they have something rather special up their sleeves? This anomaly is fascinating.
The one caveat we have whenever talking about Google is that most of their products are not very successful, mainly because Google have a dire marketing philosophy. Search succeeded largely by word of mouth because there was no viable competition, Android is working because the hardware manufacturers using it are doing the marketing. So the success of this Google Chrome PC operating system will rest with OEM deals. This puts Google head to head with the formidable commercial capabilities of Microsoft.
One thing is for sure, prodding Microsoft with a stick like this is bound to precipitate a reaction.