This morning, I have read several articles about the announcement of Google’s Chrome OS yesterday. Everyone who has written something has an opinion about  the effects of it on the computing landscape, and how it will affect Microsoft.

After absorbing much of those given opinions, and trying to synthesize one of my own, i have been able to remove much of the bias of the various authors – and hopefully have not replaced it with any of my own.

First, in the excellent summation on Anandtech, Ryan Smith states immediately that Google Chrome OS has but one purpose, to launch the browser, the Chrome browser.

So, if you don’t want to run things in a browser, for whatever reason (most would cite security, or bandwidth, concerns) you won’t want to use it.  If you don’t like the thought of always being tied to the ‘cloud’ to be able to accomplish anything, this will not be the route for you, and you may likely stay a Microsoft customer, Similarly, if you don’t like the interface, you may also decide this is not for you. From my perspective, it is clear that the people at Google are extremely good at making solutions that work, but anyone on the development team that has any sense of style is not being heard.

Which brings the next point; Microsoft will not end because of this. Chances are very great that their per copy profit on whatever they wish to sell you will be going down, but they will continue to make a profit. Monkeyboy just might not feel like dancing quite as much, or as vigorously.

If you are in business, chances are that nothing in your business will change much, unless you travel in your work a lot, and have no security concerns, and can count on a good, fast connection to the internet.

If you are a young student, or an older person, who has only minor interest in what computers can do for you, this will be somewhat equivalent to getting the free part of an OLPC machine, but you supply a better machine, that doesn’t clash in a decor other than shades of green. It will be very nice for those with a good connection to the internet, that is not metered.

Those who have metered internet connections will want to eschew this like the criminal avoids the police – there will be no happy ending to the tale for these people.

Sam Diaz, a writer from ZDNet, seems to think that metered bandwidth will not be a problem for anyone, or at least he makes no mention of it. He seems very excited by this, and overlooks things like metering, network congestion, last mile problems, and virtually anything else regarding the connection. Perhaps he has some inside information on the upcoming broadband build out that Congress is debating right now.

Call me a wet blanket, or whatever else you want, but I don’t think this will be the deal breaker for Microsoft that everyone else predicts. It will, however, make things cheaper for you to acquire a means to computing nirvana, whether by a free mini operating system, or a cheaper standard one. What remains to be seen is if the cost of getting to the information after the machine is set up does not increase to take up any savings offered elsewhere.


I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.–  Winston Churchill

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