Having already challenged Microsoft’s Internet Explorer with its browser Chrome, Google is now preparing to launch a new computer operat
ing system (OS) to compete directly with the entrenched Windows platform.
The Chrome OS, designed initially for low-cost netbooks, will offer its program code to developers across the globe and create another ‘open source’ competition for Microsoft.
In an interview, Vinay Goe l, Google’s country head of products in India talks about his company’s strategies ahead. Excerpts:
Do you believe Google launching its own operating system will be a threat to Microsoft?
Windows XP takes “forever” to boot up. I can go down, have my cup of tea and come back, it will be ready as it takes four minutes for it to start. Our operating system is not about features. We never said Chrome will have these five features that the others (Windows, Safari) don’t have. If you look at the way computing has evolved and look at today’s operating systems, all the popular ones pre-date the Web.
People spend 99% of their time on browsers, then why is that we are still beholding operating systems that are 15 years old that were formed with desktop operations in mind? We should move to an application-based system, where it does not matter how many applications are there, boot-up time should be at its minimal. It should be like a TV where you switch it on and voila your programmes start right away. This is really the promise of Google’s operating system, Chrome.
How according to you have browsers evolved during past few years?
Today, browsers have become very powerful. For example, look at Google maps and the kind of things you can do with it like zooming in, etc. It really behaves like a desktop application, although it is fully browser based. And now, we are moving into the next generation which uses the technology of HTML 5 making the browser even more powerful.
So, for things that you needed a desktop application like spreadsheets, word documents, modifying photos, etc, you don’t need them anymore. It is all browser based. It can all be enabled within the browser.
Will this be built into Google’s operating system?
The HTML 5 technology will support any browser and operating system and this will be true for Google’s Chrome as well. We are trying to make an operating system that is fine tuned to the browser and supports whatever it needs. A lot of the operating system is built on open source software of Linux, we are trying to marry other stuff to give to the user.
What is Google doing to address the local market for search and email in terms of vernacular languages?
We provide search in various Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, etc. However, not all search results are in these languages but are mostly in English. This is based on transliterating where you type the word based on the phonetics and it is converted into the language of the user’s choice. The same with email services.