OP: The Differences Between Google & Microsoft

Late last night Google announced that it is working on a Chrome operating system. As was the case with the Chrome browser, the company plans to focus on speed and simplicity. Users want to boot up their computers and get online as quickly as possible and Google wants to help them do that. Similar to Chrome, its all open source and like Chrome, all anyone can talk about is what the news will mean for Microsoft.

You guys don't need the history lesson, so I'll skip the part where we go into huge detail about Google's launch as a search engine before it moved onto Gmail, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Calendar, Gtalk, Google Docs, Latitude and everything else Google does and just ask you this, what's the difference between Microsoft trying to be everything at once and Google trying to be everything at once?

Over the last two years, people have been getting more and more excited about the prospect of a Google operating system. With the arrival of Android, that chatter has died down a little and instead, we're waiting with bated breath for the first Android-powered netbook or laptop, not to mention all the Android handsets on the horizon. That said, the eager anticipation is still there; we're still waiting for an OS from a company that made our search engine.

Then there’s the flip side that; a significant amount people criticize Microsoft for trying to be too many things at once. Windows, Bing, Internet Explorer; they hate monolithic Microsoft, but monolithic, colorful Google is a great idea.

Both companies have a ton of great products. Google supplies my browser, personal email and calendar and Microsoft supplies my word processor, office email client and OS. That said, to me it seems like Microsoft's efforts have made the company spread itself too thin, but Google's efforts give the impression of the company slowly but surely spreading out like some gross blob in a horror movie. It won't be long before the company enters another market, and then another, but why is it that no matter how hard I try, I can't bring myself to have a problem with it? I gave my brother a bell and asked him his opinion on this. Being a tech blogger, anthropologist and social networking guru/PR at a large European e-tailer he had this to add: It's not about perceived value, it's about perceived cost. Google offers the vast majority of its services for free, Microsoft charges you cold, hard cash. If a Google service stops working, it's not a tragedy because you weren't paying for it anyway. The opposite side of the coin is you spend a lump of cash putting MS Office and Windows on every machine in your house, an update knocks the whole thing down like a house of cards and you wait x amount of time for a fix. While you're waiting you think about the money you spent on the product that should be working but isn't.

What do you guys think? This one is definitely personal opinion. So, are you celebrating Google's foray into the OS market or are you fashioning yourself a tin-foil hat and refusing to let Google into yet another area of your computing experience? Further, do you think there's any difference between what Google is trying to do and what Microsoft is trying to do and most importantly, do you have a problem with the whole "one company for everything" concept? Let us know in the comments below!

  • duckmanx88
    chrome still needs to let me open a new tab to any page i want instead of this most visited page and not display my passwords in my settings so that anyone with access to my pc can see them. or at least let me set a master password to those passwords.

    oh and more OS's is good. maybe then i won't have to pay $200 for an OS.
  • dravis12
    #1 difference:

    You don't pay for Google's software. (yet)

    People like free stuff.
  • batkerson
    Any serious competition with Micro$oft should be better for the consumer. The real difficulty, as I see it, is drivers and compatibility of existing software -- will my old copy of CloneCD still run?
    P.S. -- I'm still upset that he Justice Dept. didn't "break up" Micro$oft into two companies: operating system and apps. I think that would have been best for everyone, including Micro$oft.
  • XD_dued
    I'm cheap so i use all freeware except for OS. If it weren't for program compatibility, i'd definitely use linux. I guess now its kinda good for developers because they only have to build for one platform, but i think microsoft needs some more competition. (macs are meh, but at least they provide competition).
  • Here is the difference: right now, Google's proposed OS is not installed in >90% of computers. If/when that happens, Google will be hated just as much because (choose your reason): they will start charging for their OS or put a bunch of ads in it, things will go wrong in the OS and people will complain, their success will make them seem like 'the man', etc.

    People like Google right now because their stuff is largely free, but if/when their productivity/OS software becomes the mainstream stuff of choice, they will start charging because they can....just as any business should.
  • matchboxmatt
    I think the big difference between the perception of Google and Microsoft is that Google has always had one, solid image that's been familiar ever since it walked out the door. Just like how anything Apple is recognized as Apple; because its familiar and it's been largely consistent for the past several years.

    The problem with Microsoft is that it's constantly changing. Just as the image built around XP looks completely different than Vista, and that from Windows 7, Microsoft seems to file through something different every year: MSN, Windows Search, Windows Live, Windows Live Search, Bing; the thready shiny blue and green look of Vista that carried over to the web versus the solid minimalistic look Windows 7 is aiming for. I just hope that they stick with something and stop having an identity crisis.

    As for the actual Chrome OS deal, the more the merrier.
  • doomtomb
    I knew this sort of parallel between Microsoft and Google was coming but besides the price. Another difference is that Google rolls out a new service just about every week. If you count up the number of products Google has and compare it to Microsoft, I think you'll see that Google is trying to be everywhere at once. Microsoft has what? Office, Internet Explorer, Windows, and Bing. Google has way too many to list.
  • I agree with what the brother in the article has to say, but not only is it that most Google products are free, they also work extremely well and are simple to use.

    It's hard to say how well this OS will work with the collage of hardware inside of PC's, but I'm sure Google will make this product work and work really well.

    Microsoft has never been pushed to make a solid product since they control the majority of the market. Pretty soon this will not be a factor.
  • Judguh
    I agree with the whole compatibility aspect. If I were to install the free OS on my computer, what would I have to do in order to get my machine working 100%? I know Google provides good stuff, but I hope they aren't biting off more than they can chew...
  • Hanin33
    think it's a good thing, more competition the better. i do believe there's a slight difference in how Google does things as compared to microsoft. microsoft openly tried to force you into their products whereas Google is simply offering them as an alternative. this may change later but as of now, this is the case. i do have issue with the one company for all mantra... as it's yet to be proven to be reliable in the long term. it's very difficult to be the best in a given arena but to have to cover many different ones at once makes the task monumental.