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With the release of the Google Chrome operating system yesterday, came the latest chapter in the pitched battle between the search giants and software tsars Microsoft. For every new search engine, including Bing, questions are raised about whether or not it will be a Google-killer; now the tables are turned and Google believe they may have the Microsoft-killer in their grasp.
But are Google stepping too far away from their comfort zone? Is Google Chrome OS a leap too far? Only time will tell whether it can topple Microsoft’s domination of the operating system market, a domination that has lasted for decades lest we forget.
It may well break the barriers between online and offline, but some would question whether it is even a real OS at all. Econsultancy take a very dim view of the announcement. An article under the title ‘Much ado about nothing: Google Chrome OS‘, dismantles the software piece by piece with acerbic glee. Techcrunch take a slightly less incredulous tone with their article ‘Meet Chrome, Google’s Windows Killer‘. But clearly the technology world is divided.
The vast majority of modern consumers are creatures of habit though, both Google and Microsoft should be well aware of this. The likes of Linux have tried to reel in Microsoft’s domination of the operating system world and have failed. Not because it’s worse, but because we’re all too used to Windows. It comes with packaged up with our computers, our drivers are set up to run it and we all know what we’re getting – good or bad.
The same of course is true of search engines. Recently Microsoft’s re-launched Bing has been flexing its muscle, seeing steady improvements in popularity and online exposure. But despite its new look, despite improved search results and despite the furore surrounding its release, Google remains dominant. Perhaps this is Google doing their very own best impression Icarus or perhaps it’s an inspired innovation that will change the face of modern computing, who knows?
But perhaps Google should have learnt from all those search engines they’ve ousted and the millions spent by each one to try and bridge the gap; sometimes market domination isn’t meant to be broken.