The Windows killer -- Google OS

A Google operating system? Could it spell the end of Windows' dominance? Don Reisinger certainly thinks so.

PC Magazine columnist, John C. Dvorak, wrote up an interesting column earlier this week explaining exactly how Google would get into the operating system business to take on Microsoft and Apple. And while I too believe Google may make such a move, John only got us to the point of inception.

And with most of the OS focus this week being allocated to Mac OS X Leopard, I thought it would be nice to take our attention away from that for a moment, and take a look at what the hypothetical Google OS would look like after the company declares war on Microsoft.

And if you're thinking what I'm thinking, this OS would take Windows (and Mac OS X) for a ride.

First off, everyone knows that Google has an endless flow of cash at its disposal that effectively allows it to wipe out any and all competitors at the drop of a hat. And because of this huge sum of capital, it can afford to do things that Apple and Microsoft don't want to do -- offer an operating system for free.

That's right, the Google OS will retail for a low, low price of nothing. And how will it support itself you ask? Through advertising, of course!

Google is the de facto leader in everything advertising. Even better, this company has always been known as the free, "nice" company that won't do the "evil" things we have come to expect from huge tech companies. And it makes sense: why would Google want to sell its own OS? It would be entering a market with zero market share and would need to find a way to break in. Free would be a great place to start.

Now, besides the price, be aware that this operating system will probably be the most updated OS you have ever used. Once again, that is for one reason: advertising. Ads will be strategically placed on the startup screen and your desktop, as well as on the Google browser that will come pre-loaded with the OS. Ads will be practically everywhere, but for some odd reason, you won't really notice them. As we all know, Google has been quite successful at making advertisements become a part of the Web, and there's no reason to suggest it can't do the same with the operating system.

Now, what would a good Google OS be without its main attribute -- open source? For the first time, Google will lead the open source charge against Windows. And if you're a fan of Linux, you should be happy about this: Google can protect itself against Microsoft's high-paid lawyers and will act as the shield the Linux community needs to fend off any and all attacks from the Microsoft camp. In effect, all of Microsoft's focus will be put squarely on Google, which will allow the Ubuntus and SUSEs of the world to roam freely in the shadows.

The design of this new OS will be simple, yet elegant. Much like the Google homepage, the Google OS will be intuitive and easy to use. There will not be a Start button or a useless set of bloatware that only contributes to slower speeds. This new operating system will be quick and nimble -- ready to perform the operation you ask of it in a matter of seconds.

Even better, you won't need to buy expensive equipment just to use it and if you're really lucky, it won't be subject to security issues because the company spent extra time making sure the possibility of exploitation is practically nil.

The new operating system will come pre-loaded with all of Google's software packages, but unlike some Microsoft software, you'll be able to uninstall it whenever you see fit.

There will not be any UAC prompts or the annoying question of "did you mean to do this?" You won't need to fire up anti-spyware and anti-virus programs just to make sure your data is safe. In fact, you might actually be happy using the new OS all day, every day.

Finally, the new Google OS will be easy to use, but contain the functionality necessities expected by an advanced user. In essence, this operating system will be built for everyone.

So there you have it, my idea of what the Google OS could (and should) look like if it every comes to fruition. And if it does, Microsoft may be in for a rude awakening.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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