I suppose, if I'm honest, there are things I'm less bothered about: The King of Pop, Kerry Katona, William Hague, Roger Federer, men who wear capes, kichen refurbs, Big Brother, Take That, the new iPhone, Lindsay Lohan's Sapphism, The Wire, Rhona Cameron, Vincent Cable, John Terry, items that seem to have appeared by their own volition in my sock drawer... Actually, no, one of these I'm actually quite intrigued by* but what I'm trying to say is that I don't think Google's Chrome operating system is going to be such a big deal.

One of the (very few) benefits of age is the abilty it gives you to see recurring trends and putative replacements for Windows come around more often than leap years. You can see why, of course. The so-called Microsoft tax is very real and as PC prices have come down, the proportionate expense has got higher. We've seen IBM, Digital Research, Apple, Novell, the Linux community and a ton of others try to knock Microsoft off its perch, and largely fail. Why? It's not a popular theory but I think the reason for the longevity of the Microsoft era is the 'enough' factor: Windows is good enough for us, we have enough money to afford it, and we have enough legacy software and hardware to say 'enough already' to the challengers.

Running a sliver operating environment a la Chrome isn't new either. Oracle stirred up a lot of fuss way back with Raw Iron, an 'OS-less' attempt to own the database server. It dies on its backside but server appliances are common now because you don't need a fat OS to run many tasks. But on the client device it's often useful for fully-featured applications. If you don't agree, fine, run Linux and Google Apps instead of Microsoft Office. but it's interesting that even big Apps supporters often run in tandem with Microsoft (or sometimes Apple) environments. 

The Chrome OS announcement only garnered headlines because it's Google. The company could have just endored a super-slim *nix variant and been done with it. But Google, like many before, appears to have a bad case of Redmond envy. It can be a nasty condition, potentially terminal even, and you'd think that prebvious outbreaks would have served as a warning. But no.

That sai, Google is being cute in turning its attention primarily to netbooks. The very price-sensitive sector needs a marquee brand. I fully expect Microsoft to gash on price in this space, and maybe provoke another bout with the regulators.

* Ditch her. You're with the wrong girl.