Google on Wednesday announced Chrome OS, a netbook optimized operating system that will be released sometime next year. However you view the news, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber brings up a good point in his latest article: where is it? Google announced the OS and everyone went crazy. Is it a threat to Mac OS X? What will Microsoft do?. The questions everyone failed to ask is where are the specifics of the OS?
“There aren’t even any screenshots, let alone a demo or any specific technical information,” said Gruber. “With an expected ship date of ‘the second half of 2010,’ it’s a textbook example of vaporware.”
With Google’s reputation of developing products, I don’t think anyone really believes that it would announce a product that it never planned to develop, but it is a good point. Google is one of the few companies that can announce something, provide few details and still get everyone excited.
Apple could do that. There is no way that Microsoft could ever do it.
For the record, I think Google’s OS will likely have more of an impact on Microsoft than Apple. In fact, I don’t expect that it will have any effect on Apple whatsoever.
The impact on Microsoft will be more profound if Google can make it work. Even if they do, trying to convince people to adopt it instead of Windows will be an uphill battle.
Microsoft and Google will be fighting for the same netbook customers. Unlike the ongoing search battle, Google doesn’t have the upper hand when it comes to operating systems.
It’s going to be interesting.