Google's announcement this week that it plans to step into the operating system market with the development of a light and fast OS based on its Chrome web browser has got much of the IT world aflutter with speculation about what this could mean for Microsoft. But the general consensus does seem to be that Redmond doesn't have much to fear just yet.
Thanks to hosted services in their myriad of designs and form factors, the browser is rapidly becoming the primary interface for a lot of the most common computing activities. Gone are the days when you have to have a locally installed email client, calendar, office suite or instant messaging system.
And thanks to the development of cloud platforms from firms like Salesforce.com and Amazon, more and more of our daily lives can be accessed and managed through a portal.
So surely then it makes sense to dump the bloated and kludgy environment we use today for a new model that's slim and easy - yes I'm still talking about operating systems.
Unfortunately, although we are a lot more connected than we were even a few years ago, ubiquitous high-speed internet access is still a pipe dream (if you'll excuse the pun) and so offline support is going to be pivotal to any success Google may have with Chrome OS. If people suddenly can't work because they're unable to connect to a network, a more traditional operating system is quickly going to find its way back onto the computer.
Furthermore, while most reports are pitching Chrome OS at the netbook market, Google has categorically stated that it intends its upcoming platform to scale up to desktop PCs and full-blown laptops. This means that application development is going to be vital for Google.
Apple did an excellent job with the iPhone's App Store, condensing the previously onerous task of finding mobile applications, purchasing, downloading, cross loading and installing them into a simple and intuitive process. If Google can do the same thing with Chrome OS it may well have a shot at mass adoption, because there will always be certain things that work better locally installed - even if the browser acts as the interface - than accessed via the web.
Even if it does get this all right and there is a rich selection of applications that blend seamlessly between the online and offline world, Chrome OS will still have a long way to go before IT managers will even begin to consider shifting desktop PCs away from Windows. For a start the legacy implications are absolutely horrendous, not to mention users' general reluctance to move away from the familiar.
Most companies simply have too much data and too many bespoke business critical applications that are designed to run in their existing environments for something as radical as Chrome OS to unseat them.
Details are still scarce as to precisely how Chrome OS is going to be implemented, so a lot of comments from all angles are largely speculative. Two things we can be pretty sure of: that it is going to shake things up in the operating system world, starting at the netbook market and moving upwards from there; and that it will almost certainly go a long way to helping push Linux by linking it with the Google brand.
But while Microsoft should definitely be looking up and taking notes, it probably doesn't need to thinking about a change in career any time soon.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago