Microsoft has been working on Windows Lite for some time now. Should Google be afraid of Windows Lite and the impact it could have on Chrome OS and the Chromebook?
The Chromebook had a slow start. In the early years, it was unsure whether Chrome OS and the Chromebook would succeed. However, over the last few years with the launch of Android Apps the Chromebook market has got stronger.
Is all this about to be threatened by Microsoft and Windows Lite?
THE HISTORY BETWEEN THESE BITTER RIVALS
It’s not a secret that Google and Microsoft are bitter rivals. If you go back twenty years Google was just a search engine and Microsoft dominated the computer market. Google gradually started to look at other ways to push technology forward and while doing this started to step into Microsoft’s core business territory.
It all started to go wrong for Microsoft when tablets were launched. Tablets gave consumers an easy way to surf the internet. The difference was that tablets either using Apple iOS or Google Android were much easier to use and worked seamlessly when compared to Microsoft Windows.
Google not being a technology company to rest on its laurels grabbed the opportunity they saw before them. They knew Microsoft would struggle to get consumers back from tablets. They also knew people liked the ease of using a tablet but missed the laptop experience. The answer to this for Google was obvious and the Chromebook was launched.
You can say what you like about the Chromebook when first launched. It was seen by many as a big mistake. Fast forward to today and it was the best move Google ever made. They realised the future was in the cloud and that the consumer wanted a fast, secure and easy to use device.
The problem with this is that it slowly started to eat away at Microsoft’s dominance. Microsoft has attempted to get into the mobile market, but failed, even when they bought Nokia; they had simply left it too late. Apple and Google had taken most of their market share.
WHAT IS WINDOWS LITE
Windows Lite is a stripped down version of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Windows is famed for being slow and simply frustrating to use. The stripped down version of Windows Lite will move away from supporting decade-old hardware and software. Instead, it will be targeting cloud computing, which is a direct threat to Chrome OS and the Chromebook.
WHY ARE MICROSOFT LAUNCHING WINDOWS LITE
Windows Lite is, in fact, a project name. Whether Microsoft will launch the operating system under the ‘Windows Lite’ name is unclear.
It’s believed the main reason for the launch of Windows Lite is to be ready for the dual-screen mobile market. At the moment most tablets and mobile phones offer one screen. However, Intel has been working on processors made specifically for dual-screen devices. There worry is that there are no manufacturers ready to build these devices, and more importantly no operating system ready to support dual-screen.
This is where Windows Lite comes in. However, there is no getting away from the fact that Microsoft will also be looking at grabbing back a share of the mobile market. Microsoft is well aware that it has lost its way over the last decade when it comes to the consumer market.
It’s also aware it has also lost market share to Google and the Chromebook in the education and business sector. So Windows Lite is going to be direct competition to Chrome OS and the Chromebook.
SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED
It’s difficult to say at the moment whether Windows Lite will be an issue for Chrome OS and the Chromebook. However, if we look back on history Google has always been one step ahead of Microsoft.
Microsoft has made some rash decisions over the last decade and it has not gone unnoticed. They are no longer considered the dominant player they once were. In fact, when it comes to consumers and the education market they are currently seen as obsolete.
The education market is really important. Children who grow up with Chromebooks today in the classroom will most likely adopt the same technology in adulthood. If Microsoft claws back its dominance in the education market, then that could cause problems for Google.
However, the fact that Microsoft is only just working on a stripped down operating system. Some eight years after the launch of the Chromebook. Sort of says a lot about Microsoft. They are well behind and making a come back is not going to be an easy challenge.
THE FUTURE FOR CHROME OS AND THE CHROMEBOOK HAS NEVER BEEN BRIGHTER
Chrome OS and the Chromebook has changed the way we use computers today. It cannot be underestimated how Chrome OS has changed the shape of computing. Cloud computing was sneered at by the competitors when the Chromebook was originally launched.
Today nearly all the major software developers are publishing software to be used in the cloud. This includes Microsoft. This shows that the Chromebook and Chrome OS are definitely heading in the right direction. However, Microsoft was never going to sit back and admit defeat. It was only a matter of time before they were going to take on Google in the cloud computing space.
Luckily, the Chromebook has grown rapidly over the last few years. This is thanks to Chrome OS being aimed at not just laptops, but tablets. This was a necessary move for Chrome OS. Google also bringing Android Apps into the Chrome OS ecosystem was a smart move.
Yes, Microsoft has the money and technical knowledge to compete with Google, but if the last decade is anything to go by I don’t think we should be too concerned. They have constantly fallen foul of being late to the market. This is exactly the same with cloud computing. Microsoft has a long way to go if it wants to compete against Chrome OS and the Chromebook.