Microsoft set to respond to Google OS next Monday?

Blogger Robert Scoble has posted a message on his FriendFeed account, hinting at a Microsoft announcement next Monday, related to Google's OS.

In the posting, Scoble notes "why did Google announce Chrome OS this week? Well, of course, Microsoft has a big announcement coming on Monday (I'm embargoed)". Neowin confirmed last week that Microsoft will announce that Windows 7 has hit RTM on Monday at the Worldwide Partner Conference that is taking place in New Orleans. Could Scoble be confirming this too or hinting at Microsoft's forthcoming Gazelle browser? Blogger Imran Hussain thinks it could be Gazelle too. Long Zheng thinks it could be Office Web.

Gazelle Browser

Microsoft has been developing "Gazelle" as an alternative to Internet Explorer. The browser acts like a self-contained operating system and is designed to address the fact that browsers like IE and Chrome have not been built by design to handle multiple processes and web applications in a secure manner. The implications from this is that older browsers have suffered performance and security issues.

The browser relies on a "browser kernel" (5,000 lines of C# code) that helps enforce security rules to prevent malicious access to the PC's underlying operating system. Built by the Microsoft Research team, company officials have been dropping hints that they are ready to talk more about Gazelle recently, we first heard about Gazelle back in February in a MS research blog posting. This week, Microsoft researcher Helen Wang spoke with CNET News and said "I think Gazelle marks a significant departure from all previous browsers, including Chrome and IE 8". Wang also noted "we're really trying to leverage the decades of operating system experience and apply that in the Web and browser setting".

In August, Microsoft Research's Security and Privacy Research Group lead by Wang will be presenting a research paper (PDF) at USENIX on their experimental web-browser. It's possible that Microsoft has brought forward the presentation to next Monday due to Google's recent OS announcement, but not likely.

Office Web Applications

In Scoble's FriendFeed he replies to others by hinting "part of the Microsoft announcement on Monday runs on Google Chrome (and Firefox for that matter)" meaning this could be a web service. Microsoft evangelist Keith Coombs posted on twitter that he was playing with some "secret Microsoft software" which he couldn't talk about until the end of the week. If it's the grand Office Web Apps unveiling this makes sense at a Partner Conference. Microsoft hinted at its Office Web Applications back at it's professional developers conference last year. The company plans to offer Office in a way that is similar to Google Apps/Docs. This is the more likely option out of the two.

Whatever is announced at next weeks Worldwide Partner Conference we can be sure Windows 7 RTM will be on the agenda.

Thanks to member Dead_Monkey for the news tip

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i've got lots of secrets!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not going to share them with you!!!!!!!!!

MAYBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Same reason Apple announced the news of the release of its new iPhone right before Palm released its long awaited Pre. Its business and competition. Google I'm sure has been working on their OS for a long time and have waited for the most opportunistic time to announce it. How perfect right before the release of Windows 7 RTM. Ouch! Thats a stinger but its incredible competition and business game play.

C'mon guys. Seriously now lets think of this logically. Do you honestly expect any other OS outside of Mac or Windows to become common in everyday use outside "our" world of geek and tech knowledge? Perfect example is gmail - a quick poll of my friends; a nice and eclectic mix of geeks and normals and guess where the biggest ratio of gmail users is? Hell, most people I know still use either hotmail or yahoo for their email.

So my point is; even if Google come out with this amazing, "free" Operating System that is awesome on all kinds of levels and sets a definate challenge to MS and Apple - it will never ever break the sheer commercial clout that Microsoft and Apple have. And therefore, Windows will always do well and Apple will always do well (with schoolkids).

Saying that though, I'm all for greater competition - i'm a Windows user through and through - and yes I've played with Ubuntu and a couple of the other Linux distros and yet I always come back to Windows. I'm curious to see what MS have up their sleeves on Monday. Aside from what we're all guessing here I have a feeling they might have an announcement we arent expecting.

Ya know, since Apple is big on cat names, they should rename Safari to Cheetah, and claim how fast it is and tears the sh-- out of the "gazelle". :P

I'm sorry but doesn't Microsoft already have a web based Office suite available like NOW! I am more interested in the new browser called "Gazelle." Ever since I got hit with a trojan/virus I switched to the portable version (I don't want a permanent version) of Firefox and I hate it; it is a resource hog, slow to start and the ui is ugly but I use it because it is safe however it needs noscript and greasemonkey to be safe.

artzm said,
The only problem is Microsoft will be forced to remove the browser part in order to ship to the EU.

It's not Windows so it shouldn't really be a problem, even in the EU

I'm guessing Microsoft's response will be maniacal laughter. That would be mine if someone said yet another rebranded Linux distro was suddenly going to be a threat to Windows.

TRC said,
I'm guessing Microsoft's response will be maniacal laughter. That would be mine if someone said yet another rebranded Linux distro was suddenly going to be a threat to Windows.

I would join in with you if it weren't for Google's strong brand.

It's also worth mentioning that lately there was recently an update for Office Live Addon to the Office 2007 suite and right now the capabilities on the website are.
Save to Office Live Workspace (Within Office 2007)
Open from Office Live Workspace (Within Office 2007)
Read Documents from Office Live Workspace (Within Browser)

Now All they need to add is the ability to write documents from within the website. The website is also currently in beta and maybe they are going to announce that they are removing the beta tags.

Personally I would like it if Bing had a mail button in one of the tabs rather than a "Windows Live" Tab. And then from there I could go to the Office live workspace from Mail like I can easily with Gmail.

The 'Windows Live' link takes you to Windows Live Home. If you have Office Live Workspaces, then they should appear on your Windows Live Home (lower right side of the page).

I have a "strong" feeling we will see an announcement around Office on the Web. Yes, they will announce Windows 7 and I believe we will finally see the web based version of Office. Google Apps is growing and Microsoft is aware of this. I believe we might also see some integration between Windows 7 and the web based version of Office...but this is a "guess"

Not sure how much this will succeed...OS doesnt stop with accessing internet alone (maybe its for netbook users)...
Current OS (say its Windows or mac or linux ) they have there foot prints in enterprise, home, business etc...
OS needs Lot of hardware support from USB to high end factories...

Not sure whether this will gain market share..but rather its a very long way to go since Windows / Unix /linux system are stabilized & 100% dependent now for anything related to computer.

I'm a developer, and I think if MS has done something good it's .net, this framework is just TOO powerful ! But as a strange matter of facts most of MS software are still in C++ (Live products/Office/...) while Visual Studio/SQL Server are built (at least partly) on .net.

But with .net MS can do great things : See worldwide telescope ! So I'm pleased to see that with it's upcoming browser, MS is finally pushing this technology forward.

Google have the resources to build an O/S, especially if based on Linux. Look what Mark Shuttleworth's Canonical Ltd. managed with just $10 million! Ubunto is the most common Lunux, in less than 5 years. If Google can produce a easy desktop front end (rather than the mess that is now the fashion with Windows and Linux distro's), then they will quickly get market share.

Microsoft should be quivering in their boots at this news :-)

boho said,
Google have the resources to build an O/S, especially if based on Linux. Look what Mark Shuttleworth's Canonical Ltd. managed with just $10 million! Ubunto is the most common Lunux, in less than 5 years. If Google can produce a easy desktop front end (rather than the mess that is now the fashion with Windows and Linux distro's), then they will quickly get market share.

Microsoft should be quivering in their boots at this news :-)


And Linux as a whole, Ubuntu included, is still less than 1% market share.

Chrome is going to be built on Linux. That is a fatal flaw, because of the sheer difficulty in installing desired applications, even on Ubuntu. Regardless, Google has proven in the past to not really care about data security (i.e. having their own hands in user data).

Personally, if success means coming anywhere close to challenging Microsoft, then I do not see ChromeOS succeeding. I would love to have an alternative to Windows, but Linux-based OS's, even Ubuntu, are too clunky for general use, I refuse to spend a huge premium on Apple hardware to get OS X, and I will never put my data at risk by subjecting it to big brother Google.

Our only hope is if Steve Jobs takes his head out of his butt and finally unleashes OS X as a standalone OS for PC's. The commercial of Mac turning PC into a Mac would be priceless.

Bemani Dog said,
Chrome is going to be built on Linux. That is a fatal flaw, because of the sheer difficulty in installing desired applications, even on Ubuntu.

I haven't seen any indication that Google has any intention of letting anyone install any applications outside of those delivered by Google on these systems. They want all the applications to be delivered through the browser, not platform-native.

Yet another Pyhrric victory for Linux, a vendor taking the kernel and leaving the community behind.

Bemani Dog said,
Chrome is going to be built on Linux. That is a fatal flaw, because of the sheer difficulty in installing desired applications, even on Ubuntu.

Being built on Linux (you know, the kernel) is completely unrelated to how apps would be installed on this Google OS thing (or on any other Linux distro, for that matter).

Bemani Dog said,
Our only hope is if Steve Jobs takes his head out of his butt and finally unleashes OS X as a standalone OS for PC's. The commercial of Mac turning PC into a Mac would be priceless.

Not only would that make a hilarious commercial, it would be the first Apple product I'd buy post-ROJ. :)

(Edited by Beaurau of Redundancy Department)

boho said,
Google have the resources to build an O/S, especially if based on Linux. Look what Mark Shuttleworth's Canonical Ltd. managed with just $10 million! Ubunto is the most common Lunux, in less than 5 years. If Google can produce a easy desktop front end (rather than the mess that is now the fashion with Windows and Linux distro's), then they will quickly get market share.

Microsoft should be quivering in their boots at this news :-)


In order to beat #1, you have to beat #2. They gotta replace Mac OS as the #2 OS before they take on MS, just as Bing must unseat Yahoo! as the #2 search provider before it can take on Google.

GreyWolfSC said,
Not only would that make a hilarious commercial, it would be the first Apple product I'd buy post-ROJ. :)

(Edited by Beaurau of Redundancy Department)

It would never happen because that would nuke Apple's Mac division profits (they make almost nothing on the OS).

lordcanti86 said,
It would never happen because that would nuke Apple's Mac division profits (they make almost nothing on the OS).

They could survive on the iPod if they really wanted to. And Microsoft runs solely on its OS usually.

I have a feeling that since it's based on Linux, it's just not going to do well..****, just look at how hard they've all been trying..barely even a dent.

So far they've not been attacking the OS part head on - they better come with something 10 times better than Windows 7 if they REALLY want to get peoples attention. People are not going to forget or stop using Windows overnight..let's see if they can parlay all the money over 10-15 years because I don't see anything happening (if at all) before then.

Neowin confirmed that they have an anonymous source, and nothing more. Now they're tacking this comment with it? C'mon guys, you're guessing.

If you're right, good on you. If not, well... :P

Raa said,
Neowin confirmed that they have an anonymous source, and nothing more. Now they're tacking this comment with it? C'mon guys, you're guessing.

Just because a source is anonymous, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Raa said,
Neowin confirmed that they have an anonymous source, and nothing more. Now they're tacking this comment with it? C'mon guys, you're guessing.

If you're right, good on you. If not, well... :P


Sometimes you can't name the source because they like keeping their identity a secret due to various reasons.

Imran Hussain said,
Sometimes you can't name the source because they like keeping their identity a secret due to various reasons.

You know, because they are a super hero or something LOL.

well seeing as the Google OS is set for Net books, its probable that MS has finally got around to making Win7/ WinOS for Netbooks and MIDS?

Win7 runs just fine on netbooks, without any problems. The only thing MS could do better is pricing. And not limit things to Starter edition. Yet, people buying a netbook with Win7 Starter edition not that the app limit is gone, probably wouldn't care either way.

Gerry said,
*cross fingers* Standards compliant?

Yes I hope so too.

I think Microsoft should consider again switching to WebKit for their rendering engine.

That will never happen. And IE could support all the stuff the other browsers do come IE9 if MS felt the need to do so, yet I'm sure people would then find something else to knock IE for.

If this other browser project performs like they say and is built with solid security in mind, that plus the security changes in Windows they've added knock out one of the biggest problems MS has to face.

That just leaves security holes in other apps or other parts of the OS to think of, and if some 3rd party app has the problem, well, you can't actually blame MS for that one.

GP007 said,
That will never happen. And IE could support all the stuff the other browsers do come IE9 if MS felt the need to do so, yet I'm sure people would then find something else to knock IE for.

"find something else to knock IE for"

What's about this stance anyway? I hear it so frequently. It's like we're nitpicking about toolbars in IE moving 10 pixels to the left in IE 8.0 or whatever, just to have something to complain about. It's ridiculous. Lacking standard compliance and e.g. SVG support (just to pick one major feature lacking in IE but all other browsing having) is a big downside for web developers trying to develop web services for IE. It's not like we're looking for things to nitpick about.

Come again when the arguments have boiled down to IE correcting misspelled words wrong in a new spellchecking feature.

Jugalator said,
"find something else to knock IE for"

What's about this stance anyway? I hear it so frequently. It's like we're nitpicking about toolbars in IE moving 10 pixels to the left in IE 8.0 or whatever, just to have something to complain about. It's ridiculous. Lacking standard compliance and e.g. SVG support (just to pick one major feature lacking in IE but all other browsing having) is a big downside for web developers trying to develop web services for IE. It's not like we're looking for things to nitpick about.

Come again when the arguments have boiled down to IE correcting misspelled words wrong in a new spellchecking feature.


Right, so even when those are added you're saying you wouldn't find something else wrong with it at all? People who don't care much for standards or SVG support knock it for other things, and yes UI is one. Are you forgetting the whole debate about the placement of the Refresh and Stop buttons being after the address bar? Honestly, people DO nitpick it to hell and back.

GP007 said,
Right, so even when those are added you're saying you wouldn't find something else wrong with it at all? People who don't care much for standards or SVG support knock it for other things, and yes UI is one. Are you forgetting the whole debate about the placement of the Refresh and Stop buttons being after the address bar? Honestly, people DO nitpick it to hell and back.

Ah well, let's freeze all software development altogether, since people will always find something wrong despite any other improvement.

GP007 said,

Right, so even when those are added you're saying you wouldn't find something else wrong with it at all? People who don't care much for standards or SVG support knock it for other things, and yes UI is one. Are you forgetting the whole debate about the placement of the Refresh and Stop buttons being after the address bar? Honestly, people DO nitpick it to hell and back.


So you're assuming I am "people" who would complain about toolbar buttons, if I'm thinking huge things like standard compliance are lacking? You're talking of two completely different things here, with a difference on the order of a magnitude in importance to fix. Stop assuming things about people, that's the first thing you should do. Don't package everyone who dislike IE in the same group and put a label "whiners" on it. The reality isn't that simple at all. Sure, there are whiners, but there are many reasons to dislike both IE and Firefox, or what have you, some reasons more valid than others.

To answer your question, no, I wouldn't start whining about stuff on a toolbar or perhaps how an icon looks if they caught up with the competition elsewhere.

Heck, I don't even use IE, I'm just annoyed by this because it holds back the evolution in web services unnecessarily. It's particularly annoying when the rest of the market is already there in many respects, but MS is in typical fashion not catching up and instead going "horray" and jumping with joy when they finally get CSS-fricking-2 support.

Gerry said,
*cross fingers* Standards compliant?

Gazelle isn't about rebuilding the rendering engine, it's about a more secure browser platform...

GreyWolfSC said,
What web sites use SVG? I've never run across one that I know of.

You don't know Wikipedia?

BTW, gee websites don't support SVG? I wonder what might be the cause for that.

Jugalator said,
"find something else to knock IE for"

What's about this stance anyway? I hear it so frequently. It's like we're nitpicking about toolbars in IE moving 10 pixels to the left in IE 8.0 or whatever, just to have something to complain about. It's ridiculous. Lacking standard compliance and e.g. SVG support (just to pick one major feature lacking in IE but all other browsing having) is a big downside for web developers trying to develop web services for IE. It's not like we're looking for things to nitpick about.

Come again when the arguments have boiled down to IE correcting misspelled words wrong in a new spellchecking feature.

That will never stop the MS haters from criticising whatever MS does

Check again. If you look carefully you'll see something called "Neowin Communtiy Rules".

But yes, most people here speak coherent English. Give it a try you might like it.

andrewbares said,
Yea, you gotta read these Neowin rules, there's a bunch of them. I'm still used to CNET's free-speech democracy over there.

There's 14. That's not really a bunch.

FoxieFoxie said,


Last time I checked, internet was free of rules.


You check something thats not really there?

Actually, it just means you are an adult who knows how to speak and spell. Doing so allows us to get to the real meaning of your post, rather than getting lost in your poor spelling and grammar. And, after all, didn't you take the time to post so that we would read it?

FYI "Leet" speak was a childish fad that died a decade ago.

excalpius said,
Actually, it just means you are an adult who knows how to speak and spell. Doing so allows us to get to the real meaning of your post, rather than getting lost in your poor spelling and grammar. And, after all, didn't you take the time to post so that we would read it?

FYI "Leet" speak was a childish fad that died a decade ago.


Too bad that it's not leet speak. Also, too bad that I don't care what died years ago. Not sure if this is a shock for some of you, but minority of people actually do what they want to.

As for adult thing, yet again, you think so because society dictates you the rules.

FoxieFoxie said,

Too bad that it's not leet speak. Also, too bad that I don't care what died years ago. Not sure if this is a shock for some of you, but minority of people actually do what they want to.

As for adult thing, yet again, you think so because society dictates you the rules.

You're free to do what you want outside of Neowin. But if you want to be part of this community you need to follow the rules. No one forces you to come here anyway.

I get the feeling a (new, that is unoptimized) browser, layered in security blankets, on top of a C# powered kernel, isn't going to be very fast at all.

That it was an unoptimized prototype? Yeah, I get that.

Has nothing to do with its current performance though, if that is indeed what this is about.

We know nothing about it's performance at this point. We'll have to wait and actually see it in action, not just read a white paper.

GP007 said,
We know nothing about it's performance at this point. We'll have to wait and actually see it in action, not just read a white paper.

I mentioned the paper because billyea was feeling Gazelle would be slow by design, simply because it's coded in C#. I didn't imply my POV, simply because opinions don't matter at this point as the browser is still under heavy development.

Again, if you read the paper, you'd realize there's a comparison of performance (page load latency, memory overhead, responsiveness, process creation) between the current IE monolithic kernel and the new BK introduced in Gazelle.

I'm looking over the paper now. It'd be nice if we could compare to other browsers as well since people will probably chime in saying how slow IE is as well.

There is a comparison with both IE and Chrome. Firefox is not included in the comparison tables, but they briefly discuss Firefox 2.0 (obviously old).

The paper would have to be based on quite old things if Microsoft intends to announce Gazelle next week. It's interesting stuff, but it definitely doesn't sound unveiling/production ready.

I'm definitely interested in Gazelle... I wonder if this will completely replace IE. As for it being in C#, that does not imply that it would be slow at all... It depends on what you do with the code... I can't wait to actually see something on Gazelle though. I hope they get rid of the ugly UI of IE...