The battlefield is all set and warming up for a war that promises to be quite exciting!
Not very long ago, technology giant Microsoft challenged the might of Google, with the launch of a new search engine, Bing. Not stopping at that, it went ahead and announced Office 10, which will include free online versions of its four popular software programs – a shot at Google’s web-based office applications. Google, not one to be left behind, surprised everyone with a talk about its new operating system, clearly hoping to overturn the dominance of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows.
This announcement by Google threw the tech world into a tizzy; some going to the extent of saying that Google’s new offering would finally mark the end of Windows’ rule and others shaking their heads at what they perceive to be a great mistake by Google.
It is certainly going to be quite a ride! Microsoft powers almost 90 percent of the world’s computers and this gives Microsoft an inherent advantage, where operating systems are concerned.
Google’s new operating system, called the Google Chrome Operating System, is initially expected to target net books. It may be released to the world in the second half of 2010.
Why is Google even trying to get into Microsoft’s domain? Google sees a huge opportunity here, as it believes that Windows is an archaic system from the pre-internet era, and outdated in the current day, where all our activities are moving online.
According to Google, the point of access should now shift from the desktop to the browser, and it has invested a lot of money and time, in what it sees as the future of computing – the cloud. Cloud computing is a global network of huge data centers, that puts all the data and applications on the internet, which can be accessed by users with a network connection anywhere and at anytime.
The new operating system is expected to work perfectly with its other software applications, such as Google Maps, Google Calendar and Gmail. It would be fast and light weight, and users will be able to access the web within a few seconds. It is based on open-source Linux code.
It is not going to be easy to take away Microsoft’s market share, say experts. There have been other alternatives in the past, but nothing could dent Windows. But they do agree that things may be different this time around, because Google has deep pockets and plenty of resources unlike the other challengers.
Pertaining one of the key areas of competition for the two, Browsers, Internet Explorer dominates 70 percent of the market and Google’s Chrome browser has a hold on only 2 percent of the browser market.
In the online search area, Google is synonymous with the term “search”, and nothing else even comes into the picture. Google delivered about 80% of search results in June for U.S. web users. Microsoft hopes its innovative search engine would fare better than Google, but as of now it only dominates 8.2 percent of the searches.
Coming to operating systems, Microsoft has been in the business of operating systems for 28 long years. It continued to lead 90% of this market all these years, even dominating the business world, catering to millions of users from around the world. In contrast, Google made its entry into the OS market just a couple of years ago with its Android operating system for small devices. Google is now working on its new operating system to compete with Windows. It hopes to convince developers to write software that is browser based.
Microsoft and Google have locked horns over the years in several markets, from mobile software to internet search.
From the looks of it, they are in the midst of a full-blown battle, and surprisingly, the fight is over who will be considered the most important tech company in the world.
The key to success for Google in this area would be to lock-in partnerships with top PC makers, such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, which currently use Windows on most of their products. For Microsoft, the stakes are high because Windows OS attributed to 45% of its profits last year. If this war between the two giants results in better products and more options for us, the consumers, all this excitement would be worth it.