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Every Cloud has a Chrome Lining

or "I'll see your Bing, and raise you a Chrome" In typical understated fashion, Google announced on its blog [1] last night that it will be releasing Google Chrome OS. This is an interesting announcement, though unlikely to catch too many people totally by surprise. Google has been involved in cloud computing apps and tools for some time now, and it makes sense to move into this space. They have 6% market share of browsers, have a mobile OS, why not layer their browser on a Linux kernal to boot a machine and run its devices, then get users online to search, work, collaborate... Think of the threat this poses to Microsoft's core revenues. Microsoft's revenue as an advertising company pales in the face of its revenue as a software company. Every Windows machine is revenue, every installation of Office is revenue. Netbooks, or even full laptops and desktops, running Chrome and accessing all of Google's office tools. When you're a PC maker trying to ship a complete product for $300-500, saving on OS and application licenses is a huge boon. Netbook makers know this, and many of the lower priced machines have shipped with Linux for some time to keep under $300. Might Microsoft cry foul and get on the other side of the "bundled OS and web browser" antitrust arguments? It will be interesting to see.