They believed it would help make personal computing less expensive, because Google would give away the software free of charge. They wanted to shrug off 20 years of accumulated software history (what the information technology industry calls the "legacy") by building an OS and browser from scratch. Finally, they hoped the combined technology would be an alternative to Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, providing a new
Image via Wikipediaplatform for developers to write Web applications and unleashing the creativity of programmers for the benefit of the masses.
Google clearly has the clout and money to pull this off but can they build something compelling enough to get millions of users to switch to a new OS? I would certainly be willing to explore a new operating system developed by Google but I'm also unwilling to give up the familiarity of Microsoft Office and the other day-to-day tools I use to do my job. Yes, there will be substitutes for most of those products but the fact is that they will probably be pale in comparison. A good example is OpenOffice -- a great office automation package but, I'm sorry, it's a long ways away from Microsoft Office.
So, Google has a pretty tall order in front of them and they'd better be in it for the long haul if they have any hope of success.