The Cold War and the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union had generated a considerable body of research on the dynamics of all such competitions between two agents. It was argued that the rapid accumulation and diversification of the respective nuclear arsenals by both nations, whose only logical climax could have been a form of mutually assured destruction (MAD), was intended to keep each other in check.
This is exactly what Robert X Cringely appears to think of the battle between Microsoft and Google over various computer and internet applications.
Cringely feels that the competition by Microsoft and Google to release their own versions of applications to compete against established products of their competitor is aimed more at keeping their competitor on its toes than at capturing the market. He sees such salvos as attempts to remind each other of their respective prowess.
He writes, "Microsoft makes most of its money from two products, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Nearly everything else it makes loses money, sometimes deliberately. Google makes most of its money from selling Internet ads next to search results. Nearly everything else it does loses money, too."
After having unleashed its Chrome web browser against Microsoft's Windows Internet Explorer and its Android smart-phone operating system against Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Google has now unveiled its Chrome Operating System (initially for use in low-cost portable computers called net books) against Microsoft's Windows OS. Microsoft has not been far too behind, having already released its new search technology, Bing, against Google's world beating search engine.
Admittedly Google claims that its Chrome browser and OS are a step towards moving from the age of PC-computing to web-based "cloud computing". There is a strong belief among some obaservers of computing that Chrome moves us further away from running code and storing our information on our own PCs toward doing everything online — in the cloud — using whatever device is at hand.