Fighting Chrome on Multiple Fronts

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2009-11-25 Print this article Print

5. Enhance Windows 7 Starter Edition

Chrome OS isn't necessarily a threat to any Windows 7 edition other than Starter. Realizing that, Microsoft should spend the next year improving Starter Edition to better compete against Chrome OS when it's released. Yes, that means adding back some of the (many) features users won't find in Microsoft's simplest operating system version.

6. Play even nicer with developers

One of the big factors that has yet to fully play out regarding Chrome OS is how software will be integrated into the operating system. For now, it features several Web apps that users can access, but what about more capable software that is slowly making its way online? If Microsoft really wants to beat Chrome OS, it needs to provide the platform that has what software users want. That can only happen through strong relationships with third-party developers. Microsoft needs to get to work on that immediately.

7. Work on multiple online properties

Another key component in Microsoft's strategy to beat Chrome OS must be the improvement of its other online properties. Bing is a great search engine with several neat features. Bing Maps is arguably better than Google Maps. Microsoft needs to continue improving its online services to attract more users from Google. That could help limit Chrome OS' impact online.

8. Use some cash

If Microsoft has anything, it has money-and lots of it. The company should use some of that financial muscle to develop an operating system superior to anything Google plans to do with Chrome OS. It could also use that cash to acquire some companies that would help in that endeavor.

9. Improve security

One of the main topics Google will touch on with Chrome OS is its security. Undoubtedly, the company will talk about why Chrome OS is more secure than Windows. Realizing that, Microsoft needs to work diligently to improve the security of its platform over the next year. If it can, Google won't be able to depend on making use of the security issue that has consistently haunted the software giant.

10. Prepare for the future with Windows 8

Finally, Microsoft needs to prepare for the future with Windows 8. Windows 7 might have only hit store shelves in October, but Chrome OS looks toward the future. Microsoft needs to plan for the future of computing that will be increasingly built on cloud computing and ensure that Windows 8 is closely aligned with this trend. At the same time, it needs to remember the customers, particularly in enterprises, who want to stick with conventional computing. If it does so, Microsoft will have the market covered. And that will only spell trouble for Google.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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