The Google operating system “Chrome”, due out in the second half of 2010, threatens to chip away at Microsoft’s market share in the low end of the PC market the less expensive and less powerful laptops known as “netbooks,” which are becoming increasingly popular among consumers primarily interested in surfing the Web.
Most industry observers believe it will take years before the Chrome operating system develops into a serious challenger to Microsoft’s Windows, which runs on more than 1 billion PCs, according to Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal. The Chrome operating system also could put Google into direct competition with Apple.
Some computer makers already are considering using Android as an operating system in netbooks, but some may think Android is better suited for handheld devices. They also think elements of the Android and Chrome systems could eventually merge.
Although Google won’t charge for the Chrome operating system, Schmidt said it could easily pay off by driving down the cost of computers so people can afford to buy more machines and surf the Web more often.