Bill Gates has stepped up to the plate and took a swing at the newly announced Google Chrome operating system saying it looks like Linux. Mr. Gates did say the Google hasn’t really said much about the new OS so it is hard to really comment on it. In fact the less Google says the more interesting it becomes. The former head of Microsoft also stated in an article the following information:

As for the notion that the browser needs to act more like an OS, he noted that the browser has already become an extremely broad concept, with all of the plug-ins and other things that are now done inside a browser.

“It just shows the word browser has become a truly meaningless word,” Gates said. “What’s a browser? What’s not a browser? If you’re playing a movie, is that a browser or not a browser? If you’re doing annotations, is that a browser? If you’re editing text, is that a browser or not a browser? In large part, it’s more an abuse of terminology than a real change.”

Steve Ballmer, the current head of the Redmond software giant,  has his own thoughts:

“We don’t need a new operating system,” Ballmer said Tuesday, as part of his keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans. “What we do need to do is to continue to evolve Windows, Windows Applications, IE (Internet Explorer), the way IE works in totality with Windows and how we build applications like Office…and we need to make sure we can bring our customers and partners with us.”

No one expects Microsoft to be happy about the Google announcement, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise. Rumors have been flying for several years that Google was in fact developing such a system. But as I have stated before, I believe that Windows and Chrome are going to be apples and oranges.

If the Google Chrome OS doesn’t live up to expectations, it also will go the way of other Linux distributions that have little appeal to the masses. Chrome needs to boot fast and get the user on the Internet quickly. Chrome should also include a variety of different browsers to allow the user some choice in what they use. It will also need to support a large number of printers and other hardware. It should be interesting to see how Google overcomes these problems.

Opinions please.