Microsoft announced today (November 1, 2005) that they plan to rollout an online version of its popular Windows operating system off of a website platform called “Windows Live”. This comes just a few weeks after Google announced it would team up with Sun Microsystems to work on OpenOffice. OpenOffice is a free, open source software said to be similar to Microsoft Office. This team-up between Google and Sun also lead to speculation that they were going to develop an online operating system to try and erode Microsoft’s positioning with its client-based Windows offerings. It is unclear to what extent Windows Live will replace the current Windows operating system however Bill Gates did have this to say about the new online offerings, according to a report on MSNBC:
“It’s a revolution in how we think about software ... this is a big change for ... every part of the ecosystem.”
This announcement by Microsoft surprised me but I give Microsoft some credit for being proactive announcing its plans. I guess the only downside I can see to having an operating system online is that you are reliant to have an Internet connection for the operating system to work.
Check out the Windows Live homepage and "ideas page" to find out about all the Windows Live Products soon to be available. Also read more about it by checking out the articles on MSNBC, ChicagoTribune.com and CNet’s News.com. Furthermore, visit posts in the blogosphere on the Microsoft Live.com Blog, John R. Durant’s Weblog, Paul Mooney and ZDNet Blogs.