Just after seeing the start of a major battle in the Social Networking sphere, we should be bracing ourselves for yet another battle to be fought soon i.e. the battle for domination in Operating System space. And this shall be fought between two heavyweights i.e. Microsoft and Google.
With first Chromebooks arriving in the market on 15th June 2011, Google Chrome OS has already made its start. Although preliminary in functionality, it doesn’t have a bad start in terms of sales till now.
Microsoft has also declared its plans of launching Windows 8 OS in later half of 2012. Windows 8 will be coming with two versions, one for desktop machines and another for tablets.
Why Google is entering OS segment?
This is one question that many are asking, with such a strong presence already in Web-services and Mobile, why does Google want to venture into traditional OS market rather than strengthening its existing services?
Answer lies in Microsoft’s huge investments in Bing (rival search engine) and increasing partnerships with Google’s other competitors like Facebook and Yahoo. The very idea that Microsoft can come with a Windows version that is well integrated with services like Bing & Facebook, hence eroding sizeable user-base from Google’s web-services, is threatening enough for Google.
Microsoft is enhancing Windows OS with Windows 8, but it doesn’t want to just stick with a defensive strategy. It also plans to take the war at the enemy’s ground by launching a touch-screen version of Windows 8 which would compete with iPad & Android tablets.
Microsoft has also started to appreciate the importance of cloud-computing in business document sharing, and hence already launched products like Office 365 & Docs.com that are directly competing with Google Docs.
With Chromebooks, Google will be initially trying to increase the market share among Netbook user-base. It’s a user base which predominantly spends its entire time on the internet through email/social-networking/games etc.
Google will also be relying on upsurge of cloud-computing so as to downgrade the relevance of native apps running on windows machines.
Microsoft has undeniable advantage of being an existing big player in OS domain, but their virtual inexistence in Mobile/Tablet domain is hurting them. How fast and effectively they build their cloud solutions as well as how well they customize the Windows OS with internet is going to be crucial.
With Google, it remains to be seen how strongly they bring the application ecosystem closer to browser and cloud computing side. Also, how effectively they are able to convince consumers about their rival solutions to Microsoft Office.
Will Microsoft rise to competition and show the world that they are still the king in OS domain? Or Google will replicate its success in Internet with OS as well? We will have our answers in coming years.
War is just about to begin!