Last week, Google announced plans to release its own operating system, one that will presumably compete with Microsoft. This week, Microsoft responds with a challenge of its own.


In my blog last week, I discussed how Google announced plans to release its own operating system, one based on their Cloud technology and intended to compete with Microsoft’s dominance in the operating system market. It generated a lot of comments in the discussion section, with mostly a wait-and-see attitude toward how it will affect those in a user-support position.

This week, Microsoft responds with a challenge of its own. The Financial Times (on-line) reports in its headline “Microsoft to Step Up Google Battle”:

“Microsoft is set to broaden its battle with Google this week as it pushes ahead with online versions of some of its core software, including final plans for a ‘cloud’ operating system designed to extend Windows to the internet. The news comes days after Google took aim at Microsoft with the announcement of a PC operating system of its own, dubbed Chrome OS.”

“The rival moves point to an intensification of the battle between the technology giants, with Google trying to extend its internet platform to PCs, and Microsoft moving in the opposite direction. While Google’s PC operating system is not due to appear in new computers until the second half of 2010, Microsoft’s cloud operating system will be launched formally this year.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking at this from two perspectives.

First of all, as those who provide support to end users, we always try to remain a step ahead of the next generation of technology. We’d like to know what’s coming. We have to decide whether or not we’ll support it, and if so, what’s the best course of action.

But second, I must admit, I’m watching this from the seat of a spectator, not unlike at a sporting event. We see on the field before us two titans of technology battling each other for market dominance. We all know that a lot of technology support professionals would like to see Microsoft knocked down a few notches and are critical for its reluctance to join the open source movement. Google, on the other hand, has gotten just about as big as Microsoft, but in their own niche of technology. Google, for instance, not only dominates the search engine market, but it has actually transformed itself from a noun to a verb — something not many companies have managed to pull off. (Xerox, of course, comes to mind.)

What’s your take on this Google versus Microsoft challenge? How does it affect your role as a user-support pro?

And will Google eventually become a technology demon like Microsoft has become (at least in the eyes of some)? How big will it have to get, and how much of a market share will it have to gain before technology pros want to see Google knocked down a few notches? After all, the public loves rags-to-riches stories, like Google, but then again, they also love to see the mighty and powerful fall.

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