Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate


Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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Google and Microsoft face off

The big news this week is the introduction of Microsoft's Bing, a search program that is competitive with Google's and the announcement that Google will produce Chrome, a free open source operating system which will be up against Microsoft Windows. Those innovations change the long stagnant competitive landscape for two of the overwhelmingly dominant software packages link here, here, and here.

Some of this may turn out to be vapor ware in that replacing established software with new is widely resisted. Even when the advantages are obvious, there are costs in having to learn new programs. Thus, aside from the experimental user, getting the new adopted is a long process.

But for both Google and Microsoft, the game has changed. It will be interesting to see how Google improves its search program and how Microsoft prices the latest operating system, Windows 7, when it actually goes on sale in the coming months, facing a major competitor in the wings that will be free.

Who wins? The consumer.


The term "Operating System", it seems to me, has been corrupted. The operating system is meant to be the core programs that keep your system operating. Chrome and MS Internet explorer are add-ons and should not be considered part of the operating system. Yet the mass media articles that I read refer to Google's new operating system as an integration with Chrome. The Times wrote: "is developing an operating system for PCs that is tied to its Chrome Web browser."

I have some serious conceptual issues with this:

1. Microsoft got into trouble with the EU for including its Internet Explorer as part of the operating system. Is Google moving in the same direction of an "integrated" browser? To me the browser should NOT be coupled to the operating system. Browsers are an independent add-on. 2. Is Google, reinventing the wheel? I would love to see LINUX unseat Windows. For that to happen, we should focus on promoting one version of LINUX as the industry standard. While Google is free to be innovative and all that, Google may really be wasting a lot of resources and detracting from LINUX becoming a real standard operating system by pushing this new operating system. Why not simply design Chrome to be simply ingrained with LINUX? 3. Now for my underlying question, is Google really really developing an operating system or is the reporting used a flawed concept of what an operating system is supposed to be?

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