I think it’s not a surprise that Google is starting to invade Microsoft home turf after Bing, a revamped version of Live search, went online on June 3rd. The surf engine has shown an increase in popularity, be it slow. Not to mention it was favorably rated (by PC Magazine, etc.) as compared to some of Google’s other potential competitors (Cuil in particular).
Now, Google is fighting back and bringing the former OS King to battle over whether users want a comprehensive and hefty operating system like XP or Vista or an operating system that does the bare minimum and relies more on internet browsers to do work. If the latter turns out to be more popular, it could spell bad news for other Microsoft products such as Word, Excel, and others in the Office product line, and conversely help with Google’s online applications such as Google docs.
Perhaps the age of storing information on ones personal computer has passed and now is high time to store everything on online servers, but I am still wary of that possibility for the reasons below:
1. Not everywhere is internet accessible, and even internet accessible locations may at times block certain sites such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.
2. Looking at the Terms and Conditions of most free storage sites, no guarantee is made that the data will not be lost. Furthermore, on other sites (such as Myspace etc.) information submitted becomes the property of the site submitted to. Google is better in this in that it does not claim rights over your information, but does reserve the right to have automated crawlers review your information to present you with relevant ads.
3. There are some things I would not put online period.
The advantages, however, of keeping information online are the following:
1. No need to store on hard drive, which in itself has multiple security advantages.
2. Multiple computer can access the information without physically transferring it.
3. With web 2.0 the information you submit can be commented on and rated, such as interesting photos you upload to Facebook etc.
Although the scope of Google’s OS is still uncertain, I think it will have Microsoft employees a little more on edge than they have been.