Google out-FUDs the FUDmasters

Summary:Anyone notice lately how the Google Chrome logo is beginning to look like a Death Star? Or is it just me?

For decades Microsoft has lived by Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Now, in an ironic twist of fate they're being strangled with it, and by a Linux distro.

That's what Chrome OS is, you know. A Linux. Google's strategy has always been to use Chrome against Microsoft's desktop monopoly, and through a series of selective leaks that strategy appears to be coming together.

(Anyone notice lately how the Google Chrome logo is beginning to look like a Death Star? Or is it just me?)

I wonder how Steve Ballmer feels right now, getting hoist on his own petard? I wonder what his developers (developers, developers, developers) are thinking. I sure don't want to be his barista this morning.

  1. Chrome is showing off 100 cool experiments, offline games designed to take away any "cool" Microsoft may have left, and switch the focus of that excitement toward Chrome and HTML5.
  2. Google is showing mock-ups of how Chrome will boot-up, along with key menus. The key word here is fast. While Windows pushed people to buy new hardware, Google is building something that can run on current low-end hardware.
  3. Dell is talking to Google about releasing a Chrome netbook. The company wants to re-boot as a leader in low-cost computing, even moving manufacturing deep into China to avoid living wages near the coast.

Now before the Microsoft fanboys get their browsers in a bunch, I agree with you. Most of this is what we used to call vaporware. They're stories of what might happen, or what could happen. But as LeBron James, Sarah Palin and the kids at TMZ know, those stories are what people want to read.

From the time I joined the tech beat, way back in 1982, Microsoft has been the master of FUD. Selective leaks, demonstrations given to chosen reporters in darkened hotel rooms, off the record comments, they all served to drive the corporate strategy, freezing the competition until something real came out.

That is precisely what Google is engaged in here. And what's the headline from Redmond while all this is going on? Lay-offs.

My view is, they don't go deep enough. And after cutting to the bone, Microsoft should hire some smart, young go-getters in a skunk works aimed at beating Google at what was once Microsoft's own game.

Topics: Google

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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