Gates and Ballmer launch tag-team attack on Chrome OS
Microsoft’s two biggest hitters have launched simultaneous outspoken attacks on Google’s newly-announced Chrome operating system.
A week after Google unveiled its plans for a lightweight Linux OS, both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have publicly derided its chief competitor’s plans.
Semi-retired Microsoft chairman Gates claims that Google’s announcement is nothing new. “There’s many, many forms of Linux operating systems out there and packaged in different ways and booted in different ways,” Gates told CNet.com.
“In some ways I am surprised people are acting like there’s something new. I mean, you’ve got Android running on netbooks. It’s got a browser in it.”
Gates said it was hard to form a true opinion on the merits of Chrome OS because so little information has been released about it. “The more vague they are, the more interesting it is,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gates’s successor as CEO, Steve Ballmer, was typically more bombastic in his reaction to the Google announcement.
“I will be respectful,” Ballmer said to laughs from the audience at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference.
“Who knows what this thing is? To me, the Chrome OS thing is highly interesting,” Ballmer said.
“It won’t happen for a year and a half and they already announced an operating system,” he added, referring to Google’s Android OS, which was originally intended for mobile phones, but is now making its way into devices such as netbooks.
“I don’t know if they can’t make up their mind or what the problem is over there, but the last time I checked, you don’t need two client operating systems,” Ballmer added. “It’s good to have one.”