We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Google = Microsoft

Chrome OS logoGoogle is often seen as the anti-Microsoft. But with Google's Chrome OS announcement it's clear that the company cultures are a lot more alike than they are different. Microsoft's competitive DNA is embedded in Google's core.

Google is seen by many people as a smart, nimble company that quickly grew from upstart to industry leader, and is the place where the best and brightest go to work. Microsoft, on the other hand, is seen as slow and overgrown, a company whose best days are behind it.

Google logo

How quickly they forget! Microsoft was once an upstart, the lean-and-mean competitor outmanoeuvring a more established, hidebound opponent.

It defeated the behemoths of all computing behemoths, IBM, and in short order owned the market for operating systems and application software. The best and brightest flocked to it.

Sounds a lot like Google, doesn't it?

Google Chrome OS FAQ

Latest Google Chrome OS news

Microsoft got where it is because of Bill Gates' unquenchable hunger for business success. At one time WordPerfect owned the word processing market, Lotus owned the spreadsheet market, and Harvard Graphics owned the presentation software market. Netscape had the browser market locked up.

But Gates wasn't satisfied with what amounted to a monopoly in operating systems. He targeted those competitors, and eventually Microsoft owned those markets as well.

Google may have a friendlier face than Microsoft, but it has the same unquenchable hunger to conquer virtually any market related to computing, and will stop at nothing to get there, in the same way that Microsoft did.

That's why it's launching the Chrome OS. It's not satisfied with what amounts to a monopoly over search. It wants to own the desktop as well, the operating system, and the applications that run on it.

If it has its way, you'll use a Google-powered computer to do Google searches, run Google applications, and store your data on Google servers. Your cell phone will run a Google operating system, and all of your phone calls, via landlines as well as mobile phones, will be routed through Google Voice.

Google Voice review

You'll send instant messages via Google Talk. Every part of your computing and communicating life will be tied to Google in some way. The breadth of what it wants makes even Microsoft's old ambitions seem small.

There was a time when Microsoft was in the US federal government's and EU crosshairs because of what was viewed as anti-competitive behaviour. These days, the feds are after Google. Expect there to be multiple investigations over the next few years, related not just to monopolistic behaviour, but to privacy issues as well.

So Google may seem as the anti-Microsoft. In fact, though, Microsoft's competitive DNA is at the core of Google's cultural makeup.

Google Chrome OS: First impressions

PC makers cautious over Google Chrome OS

Ubuntu Linux maker slams Google Chrome OS

Analysis: Google Chrome to hurt Linux, not Windows

Preston Gralla blogs for Computerworld US

IDG UK Sites

6 best gaming PCs 2015: What's the best gaming PC you can buy in the UK?

IDG UK Sites

Three of the most expensive Limited Edition games ever made: Who's buying a $1,000,000 game?

IDG UK Sites

The future of Microsoft Surface: What to expect from the Surface Pro 4

IDG UK Sites

Best Mac: Apple Mac buyers guide for 2015: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and...