Google has announced plans to build an operating system based on it's Chrome web browser. You can read C-Net's coverage here
and additional commentary here
Reportedly the plan is to try to target the netbook market at least initially. One of the questions this raises is would you rather have an OS you pay for like Windows or one that uses advertising to offset at least some of the cost presumably like Google's OS.
I also think it is fascinating to watch MS, Google, Apple, and Amazon among others try to both anticipate the computer marketplace and manipulate it. Although a bit too simplified, I think fundamentally there are 4 different models in play for the future of IT.
Microsoft is a software company, Google is a service/advertising company, Apple is a hardware company, and Amazon is a content company. All are trying to make the case that their speciality is the piece of IT that is truly valuable and worth paying for/investing in.
We in the libraryland are also trying to figure out what is truly valuable (in the eyes of stakeholders) and how to position ourselves. Should we champion our software (Catalogs, Subject Headings, Call Numbers etc.); or our reference and instructional services? What about our "place" as an intellectual commons or do we focus on our collections?
I know the easy answer is to say yes to all of the above but when resources and attention spans are short - which vision do we push? What offering are we willing to stake our future on?
Labels: future of libraries, Google