Yesterday’s announcement of that Google was getting into the OS game (sort of) was not surprisingly the meme du jour. This is a move that many had expected for some time and gave bloggers and techies plenty of conversation fodder.

The most interesting thing about the buzz: the polar extremes in opinion. Some people think that Google Chrome OS is a serious threat to Microsoft while others dismissed outright Google’s announcement.

What made these extremes in opinion of interest was the fact that it seemed one’s background made all the difference in how Google’s announcement was received. Bloggers with limited technical backgrounds were by in large those heralding Google’s announcement as a mega-event while those with more substantial technical backgrounds appeared to be far more skeptical.

I thought it’d be interesting to look at some of the quotes from both camps to demonstrate this.

The Bloggers

Don’t worry about those desktop apps you think you need. Office? Meh. You’ve got Zoho and Google Apps. You won’t miss office. Chrome plus Gears plus Google Wave plus HTML 5 and web platforms like Flash and Silverlight all combine into a single wonderful computing device. The Internet Is Everything. All the OS has to do is boot the damn computer, get me to a browser as fast as possible and then stay the hell out of the way.

Michael Arrington, TechCrunch

Clearly though, Google’s setting the stage for a major battle with Microsoft. Just as Microsoft is trying to break Google’s stranglehold on the search engine market, Google may be trying to do the same with the Windows-controlled market.

Ben Parr, Mashable

But let’s be clear on what this really is. This is Google dropping the mother of bombs on its chief rival, Microsoft.

MG Siegler, TechCrunch

Can Google’s boldest attack against Microsoft succeed? Absolutely. Even if it flops.

Peter Kafka, AllThingsDigital

The move by Google is sure to leave Apple and Microsoft shaking in
their boots, and quite frankly, I’m certain this is the beginning of
the end for Ubuntu & co.

Zee, TheNextWeb

The Techies

As smart and popular as Google may be, the success of Chrome OS is not a fait accompli. Sometimes the smartest and most popular kid at school simply falls on his face. Google Chrome OS could very well turn out to be that kid.

David Coursey, PC World

Will all of this work? Apple spent a couple of years trying to convince
developers that they should be happy with Web apps, but it’s clear that
the arrival of native applications has been a significant driver of the
iPhone’s popularity. Palm appears to be trying something closer to
Google’s vision with the Pre, but Palm is also offering a native SDK,
and it’s too early to tell how well its reliance on online services
will work out for users. At this stage, it’s not even clear if the
netbook market will have staying power once the economy picks back up.

John Timmer, Ars Technica

Google makes great products. But it’s currently trying to tread a nice middle ground between completely embracing the open source community and keeping control over software it has developed. That’s an impossible patch to walk and one that leaves it open to being criticised for the same sort of arrogance operating system vendors have been accused of for decades.

Renai LeMay, ZDNet.com.au

Linux has not fared so well in the Netbooks market and I don’t see anything here that makes me think Google ChromeOS will do any better. Where’s the secret sauce here other than the Google halo effect painted over with the browser and duly hyped by the SV Google lovers? Sure, I can see why Google might make subtle statements that people wish to interpret but the reality is no-one outside the Silicon Valley tech bubble gives a damn what operating system and browser they use. Many are still mandated to use IE6 as a colleague reminded me the other day. Simply having Google wave its hand is not going to sway hard nosed enterprise buyers – even if it is free.

Dennis Howlett, ZDNet.com

I worked in IT long enough to know that nothing “automatically works.”
Many web-based applications will fail on Chrome, even though they
shouldn’t.

Paul Boutin, VentureBeat

Who Wins?

As a recovering techie myself, I fall into the techie camp but I’ll leave the betting to the professional punters.

Photo credit: claudiogennari via Flickr.