This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more

This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more

Summary: It's only Monday, but the week is starting off with some finished -- and unfinished -- Microsoft vs. Google business.


It's only Monday, but the week is starting off with some finished -- and unfinished -- Microsoft vs. Google business.

On December 7, Google is slated to showcase the long-awaited Chrome OS. Google officials recently told me that Google intended to field a beta version of its operating-system-less operating system before 2010 was over. It now sounds like tomorrow's event may be focused around the delivery of a few thousand netbooks running the Chrome OS beta, seemingly as a way to get developers excited about Google OS's possibilities. (Sound familiar? Microsoft did something similar with Windows 7 touch-enabled laptops at its Professional Developers Conference in 2009. The difference: Windows 7 was shipping, not in beta, at that point.)

While many thought and expected Chrome OS to work on slates and tablets, not just PCs, it sounds like that may not be the case once the product debuts. The user interface on Chrome OS isn't touch-centric enough, some industry observers have said.

The Google OS netbooks many are expecting are simply generic machines, according to one tester.

"Google developers have hinted at a dogfood device that (would be) a fairly normal netbook, custom-loaded with a rolling release of ChromeOS and minimal local storage," said Carlo Daffara, an open-source software consultant.

"I saw the device for real during my participation at LinuxTag; after my session. It was more or less identical to an Acer Aspire one (A150), white, Google logo embossed in the front. Chris (Dibona, the open source and public sector engineering manager at Google) made it boot so it showed the fast-boot process, Google login (that was later changed slightly) and straight into its web browser."

Google officials have said to expect the final version of Chrome OS to debut in 2011.

On another Microsoft vs. Google ast week, the Japanese Fair Trade Commission OK'd a four-year search pact signed this past summer between Google and Yahoo in Japan.

Yahoo Japan has said it plans to launch a search service using Google's search and advertising technology here by the end of this year, according to the Associated Press. Yahoo Japan execs were quoted as saying Microsoft was not yet as far along as Google in the Japanese-language services it offered as an explanation for why Yahoo Japan went with Google instead of Microsoft Bing partner Yahoo.

Microsoft officials had attempted to cast doubt on the legality of the deal, playing the "anticompetitive" card.

Finally -- about that Unisys/Google General Services Administration (GSA) Google win last week...the one where the GSA decided to go Google and replace its aging Lotus Notes/Domino software with Google Apps.

Microsoft bid BPOS-Federal -- its most secure and locked down version of its Business Productivity Suite against Google, the Softies said. Here's the company's official statement, attributed to Curt Kolcun, Vice President of U.S. Public Sector for Microsoft:

"We are disappointed in the GSA’s internal email decision. Our BPOS-Federal proposal was a conscious decision to provide GSA with U.S.-only datacenter support, where data is maintained in the U.S., administered by U.S. citizens with background checks, in accordance with ITAR standards in a FISMA-certified environment. This offering meets the most stringent requirements of governments and we are working with several agencies who see this as essential."

(BPOS Standard and Dedicated still are not FISMA-certified, but the underlying Microsoft infrastructure is, best I can tell.)

However, according to another e-mail message I received from a PR agency working with Microsoft, maybe that FISMA certification wasn't really a requirement after all.

"The original (GSA) RFP required that data centers be hosted within the United States, therefore, Microsoft bid its BPOS-Federal solution to ensure that data would be maintained in the U.S. The GSA then amended the original requirement to allow data centers to be hosted outside of the United States," according to the Microsoft spokesperson.

I asked whether Microsoft intended to contest the GSA decision or seek to rebid a less-pricey BPOS SKU, given the amended RFP, but didn't hear back....

Topics: Data Centers, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Storage, Windows, Social Enterprise


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • If Chrome OS

    takes off and the users want touch, they will get it.
    • I could see a touch screen netbook, that had keyboard, but no touch pad.

      I have ALWAYS hated the touch pads.
      • Wow...

        @DonnieBoy ... I actually agree with you on that point.
      • RE: This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more


        You really don't do much work do you Donnie? Anyone who thinks using a touch screen, beats the accuracy of a touch pad with a pointer, to say nothing of covering the screen with your hand, obviously does nothing with a netbook.

        Why not get an iToy Donnie, you obviously have very few requirements?
      • Watch it to become Google's Kin

        It's stupid to release sth just for the purpose of releasing it.
      • RE: This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more

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    • RE: This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more

      @Economister And if it doesn't?
  • As a larger percentage of users only need email, facebook, search, browsing

    web applications, etc, ChromeOS is coming at the right time.
    • Agreed

      I might even have to download ChromeOS on my flash drive (likely the best) when it comes out officially. And by might, I mean that I will.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Again


      You underestimate what people actually do on computers. Especially, younger more experienced, users.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Honestly, I don't see the point...

      @DonnieBoy ... If Chrome OS takes off, it will only be the result of a hardware product that implements it exclusively that has the genuine appeal of the iPad... as much as it pains me to say that.

      Otherwise, Chrome OS will never really take off or compete against Windows just like Linux and Mac OSX have never really competed effectively. Let's face it, even for as good as it is claimed, Mac OSX has only increased 1-2% of global usage in the past few years because of the success of their NON-computer devices, and so the company is seen as popular.

      If no other OS can gain traction against Windows, do you think Chrome OS would have an impact? Only if it comes exclusively bundled with something people MUST HAVE that replaces a need for computers. In other words, never gonna happen.
  • RE: This week in Microsoft vs. Google: Chrome OS, a Yahoo Japan win and more

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