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Re: Google to launch PC operating system

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Google to launch PC operating system
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 20:59:20 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Rjack <> wrote:
> Rui Maciel wrote:
>> Tim Smith wrote:

>>> Which means the kernel will be GPL.

>> The OS kernel is a major component of any operating system. Some 
>> people even defend that the kernel is the OS. So that must count 
>> for something.

>>> They haven't said anything that I've seen about the rest of the 
>>> system other than it will be open source.

Presumably they'll be using GNU infrastructure.

>> Well, if they are putting together an operating system and they 
>> already stated that the kernel of their operating system will be 
>> GPLed, then what's missing? If they happen to put up a non-GPLed 
>> window manager does that mean that their OS ceasses to be based on 
>> GPLed code?

>> Rui Maciel

> The GPL will be irrelevant. If the Google Chrome OS begins to make a
> *real* impact on Micro$oft's bottom line, Redmond will file patent
> infringement suits against small companies utilizing the Linux kernel.

That strategy has already been tried and failed against big companies
which use Linux.

> Should Micro$oft actually be wounded by Chrome with little given
> alternative, they will pull out all stops and we'll see a software
> patent litigation war waged against the financially weakest companies
> deploying Linux. A patent injunction against a little guy is
> effectively an injunction against all.

Hence the big guys would put their oar in in mutual self defence.  It
could get nasty, but MS would lose.

> Since 1995 we've seen exuberant predictions of Micro$oft's imminent
> demise. Micro$oft still owns 95% of the desktop. What Redmond lacks in
> programming innovation is more than compensated for by legal acumen and
> an existing monopoly stranglehold.

I don't think this will bring down Microsoft either.  The new OS, once
they've got it written, will sell well enough on its target netbook, and
people will like it a lot.  I think it will take a 5% to 10% share of the
netbook market, and will be installed on a sliver of a percent of company
desktops.  Maybe the high security of the system will be a bigger selling
point, but somehow I'll believe their "perfect" security when I see it.
Even Linux needs a security fix now and again, and I can't see that
ending any time soon.

Somehow, I can't see large companies migrating away from their
elephantine applications like Lotus Notes, Clear Case, MS-Word and the
like.  Apart from a few very enterprising companies.

And, as you say, MS will use its dirty tricks department to keep its own
OS on most PCs sold in shops.

Still, I'd like to be wrong, here.

> Sincerely,
> Rjack

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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