Is Microsoft’s Clout Delaying Chrome OS?

Posted on 29. Oct, 2010 by in Features

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I’ve been wanting to write an article involving the impact of Digitimes’ article about Microsoft demanding licensing fees for Android/Chrome OS manufacturers since I first read it. But nothing substantial proving this is a serious threat to Google really made it compelling. Now, it appears that the Chrome Web Store is being delayed until December at the latest certainly brings some thoughts to mind.

At first, I was in disbelief of the veracity of the Digitimes report. But now that we’re heading into November without any news of a Chrome OS launch, I can only deduce that Microsoft is using its influence in the Taiwanese computer industry to exert some pressure on Google.

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Seriously, doesn’t the logic that manufacturers must pay Microsoft to produce Google-based products seem absurd? Unfortunately, these manufacturers derive so much money from Microsoft products that this is a warning sign for them. A perfect example of this was my trip to Taiwan for the Computex computer conference where there was surprisingly more love I’d ever seen for Microsoft than any place outside of Redmond, Washington where the company is headquartered.

But it appears that Microsoft is only attacking Google’s operating systems. I have not yet heard of any licensing fees being paid for computers are sold with Ubuntu and that has been available from companies like Dell for some time.

That just tells me Microsoft is deeply afraid of Google’s push towards operating system dominance. It may be because Google has devised a better product than the current status quo. It’s funny, because Microsoft recently reporting record profits. A lot of this is money they get from big businesses that are locked into using their ecosystem of products in their networks.

But enterprise networks run by IT professionals are different than the annoyances regular people experience with products like Windows. If Microsoft is so concerned about consumer-based competition, they should just direct some of that cash flow into creating products that users like.

They shouldn’t be bullying manufacturers to choose what third party operating system they want to put on their products, should they?

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15 Responses to “Is Microsoft’s Clout Delaying Chrome OS?”

  1. Daniel

    29. Oct, 2010

    Actually, I have quite the different view on this one.

    While Google MAY have created a great product and Microsoft may be afraid of it, I doubt that Google would delay the launch of the app store and their OS just because of a few patent fees.

    I’ve tested out the recent Chrome OS builds, and while they are much better than the initial alpha released about a year ago, they still have a good bit to go until they are consumer-ready. I really think that they are taking their time to launch a quality product, rather than one that is perpetually in beta.

  2. d-d

    30. Oct, 2010

    I also think the delay of the Chrome OS launch and MS action are unrelated.
    As for patent threats, Google has learned after a case with HTC bowed to MS demands, that must avoid certain fragile partners.
    I believe for futrure products Google will rely more on partners not vulnerable to MS threats, who compete with MS – like Sony (Google tv), Samsung (android pad, nexus2?) or Sony-Ericsson, etc

  3. Toni Ruottu

    30. Oct, 2010

    The behavior you described has not been invented for Chrome OS. It has been around for a long time. I bought my Lenovo T500 with Vista, so I could run Ubuntu without paying Microsoft any extra.

    From what I have heard some laptop manufacturers pay Microsoft a one time payment for all Windows machines they ship, but agree to pay a fine whenever they ship machines with other operating systems.

  4. Daniel Cawrey

    31. Oct, 2010

    You guys may be right. If you haven’t yet read the new Chromium post about creating great webapps this may be part of the reason because creating quality apps for Chrome is very important to Google. However, I have to believe that the Taiwanese manufacturers are a bit concerned about Microsoft’s influence on them. Without Microsoft, they would not have been able to turn Taiwan into a developmental hotbed for PC products.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Laksana, thechromesource. thechromesource said: Is Microsoft’s Clout Delaying Chrome OS?: I’ve been wanting to write an article involving the impact of Digitimes’… http://bit.ly/d0fugA [...]

  6. Dennis

    31. Oct, 2010

    … or is this a marketing decision? In general, sales will be off this year over past years again imo, so why not build anticipation and have a solid inventory on hand and be ready to receive them all… People will be waiting in line for longer than they were for star wars and their happiness will last far beyond the 2 hours they got from a movie..

  7. Daniel Cawrey

    01. Nov, 2010

    I like where you’re going with that Dennis.

    It just seems to be taking longer than I had anticipated, but we’ll see some things develop over the next few weeks.

  8. eugenek

    01. Nov, 2010

    Google just made a out of browser Chrome version and you compare it to Windows or Linux? Yes Microsoft will do anything to screw Google and i think everyone should.

  9. Chris

    02. Nov, 2010

    It may seem like an easy way out but I agree with all of the above.

    a) Microsoft will grovel anyway they can to spoil Google profit.
    b) Quality of offer will impact release date of Chrome.

    In the end, it will be these variables and probably quite a few more that create the release date.

    Keep in mind there will be pressure from the hardware folk to get out during the Christmas season…

  10. Daniel

    02. Nov, 2010

    Also, If Google was going to announce anything important for the platform at all, they would want things to be ready. Chromoting is still in the works (a very important part of the OS, though not very much documented), hardware/software acceleration, making EVERY option/config page HTML rather than actual windows. All of this is important for the OS, but none more important than the Web Store, which is still being created, and having an inventory of apps built up.

    If they were going to announce anything about the OS, they’d do it in style too. They’re going to do it at the exact same conference as the one where they decide to launch Gingerbread and the Web Store. And we already know this is coming soon, based on the TOTALLY conspicuous giant gingerbread doll on Google’s front lawn.

  11. Daniel Cawrey

    02. Nov, 2010

    Gingerbread and the Chrome Web Store all at once? Sounds audacious and totally cross-platformy. That might work.

  12. Anonymous

    07. Nov, 2010

    I think you’re being a little dramatic, Google delayed hardware acceleration to a later Chrome release so it probably is related to that.

    But hey, don’t let me stop you from increasing page views for revenue…

  13. Microsoft Signs Another Patent Deal In Proxy War Against Google | Market To Phones

    05. Jul, 2011

    [...] second is because it also involves Chrome in addition to Android. There were rumors last year in the manufacturing community that Microsoft was pressuring companies thinking about making Chrome [...]

  14. [...] second is because it also involves Chrome in addition to Android. There were rumors last year in the manufacturing community that Microsoft was pressuring companies thinking about making Chrome [...]

  15. [...] there’s not doubt of the continuing influence that Microsoft has had on Taiwan, partnering with hardware giants such as Quanta Computer to ensure that the Windows dominance [...]

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