Critics may call this more of a Grand Guignol plan, a horror show meant only to immunize both Google and Microsoft from antitrust scrutiny, but it's a mistake to confuse investment size and intent. In the end Grand Guignol was only a puppet theater.
This looks as serious as a heart attack
With NeatX in the enterprise, Chrome OS on the desktop and Android in the hand, Google is challenging the whole relationship between client and server, offering what might be called a client and cloud paradigm.
As Google's blog notes, NeatX is an X Window implementation originally created by No Machine of Italy under the GPL in 2003. The No Machine business model included a proprietary server. NeatX is an open source alternative, also offered under GPL V2.
In a client-server environment, PCs on the desk are networked to servers in the back office. The server manages the clients, but it's still pretty complex and expensive.
In the client-cloud paradigm, all complexity is stripped-out and the server work is farmed-out to the cloud. It costs less, a lot less, but is it secure and reliable? Would you trust your business to it? How about your life? Your privacy?
This is the question Google must answer, at all levels of its stack. Functions must be balanced, between what's on your desk, your lap, or in your hand, and what's synced to the cloud. The cloud must also provide a host of software and services we presently assume will remain totally under our personal control. That control must be guaranteed.
There is much to be done, but even at the start the vision seems clear.