In the July 8th edition of ZDNet, Dennis Howlett discusses the rationality of Google trying to compete with Micro$oft in the Operatin systems arena. His commentary is on point and helps to offset the irrational expectations of those who hate Micro$oft due to their success. He summarizes with:
Why all the apparent criticism at Silicon Valley’s current favorite poster child? The enterprise runs on Microsoft. That’s Microsoft’s largest franchise. It will fight tooth and nail to retain its share for which witness the speed at which it is galloping to get Sharepoint into any business that will take it. In any deal I hear about you can almost guarantee the sales rep will be saying: “And do you want Sharepoint with that?”
Since Micro$oft has determined that it will continue to support legacy apps and hardware, al least for extended periods of time, Chrome will have to make this same commitment or it will fail in the marketplace. After all, who wants an OS that will not support my 4 year old NIC, CPI, Disk Drive, PCI bus, printer, etc?
Performance will also be an issue, although without the overhead needed to support the broad range of apps, Chrome may do better then Window$.
App support will be essential. Chrome will have to support M$ Office and related apps since, in my experience (on a Dell PE2950 server with a 2.0 GHz Intel quad-core CPU and 4GB of RAM) is a pig. I can do my work faster on a piece of parchment than the Open Office version of Excel can do a spreadsheet recalculation and graphics.
With respect to the Linux comment – I’ve been a system admin and user of Linux for 7 years and still find it a pain in the butt to implement and use, especially since there are so many different distributions with so many different idiosyncrasies.
Linux, in its current incarnation, is not a reasonable "common person" OS and doesn’t appear it will ever be. The only thing close is Knoppix, which is a clever idea but still can destroy your hard drive and/or your data if you are not careful in its use.
I see no way Micro$oft can lose this market unless it just decides to give it away.