Google just announced on their blog that they are releasing an operating system called Google Chrome OS in the second half of 2010. Although Google states that the initial target market will be netbooks, it’s clear that Google’s ambitions go well beyond that market.
The focus of the OS will be on “speed, simplicity and security” as Google points out. Like all Google properties, the new OS will sport a clean UI and be extremely lightweight.
Google’s goal is to target the OS at users who spend the majority of their time on the web and are looking for a better user experience. If I were Microsoft I would be a little worried. Although Bing has generated some buzz lately and perhaps made Google pay a little attention to their dominating search business, this announcement will certainly raise the stakes of the Microsoft vs. Google battle.
It’s going to be really interesting to see how the introduction of the Google Chrome OS effects future Microsoft OS releases. For the average user who simply uses Facebook, checks email and shares photos they will likely be able to get everything they need from the Chrome OS. In addition, they won’t be hampered by the hardships that are associated with backing up files, upgrading software and dealing with hardware compatibility issues.
All in all, competition is a great thing and Google’s Chrome OS will certainly drive innovation and force Microsoft and Apple to evaluate their operating systems and make sure that they continue to innovate and deliver a great product to businesses and consumers.