Google and Microsoft are blurring the lines between operating systems

Recent moves by Google and Microsoft show that both companies are aiming to expand their respective reach by beginning to loosen the traditionally tight bond between a computer and the operating system it runs.

why is it important: Most people like to use any application wherever they want more than they care about operating systems.

Drive the news:

  • With the latest version of Windows 11, released on Monday, Microsoft is opening up access to the Amazon App Store, allowing Android apps to run on Windows PCs. (The feature was still planned for Windows 11, but its release was delayed.)
  • Google announced Chrome OS Flex, an effort primarily aimed at schools and businesses that allows a version of Chrome OS to be installed on older Macs and PCs.
  • Google also reportedly recently showed off Android 13’s ability to cast apps from a phone to a PC or Chrome device.

Between the lines: Of course, Microsoft would like users to run Windows apps, and Google would like to sell more Chromebooks. However, both have strategies that go beyond their operating systems.

Backtrack: Microsoft made a similar effort over a decade ago to turn older Windows PCs into thin client computers.

  • There, however, the benefits were more limited than what Google offers with Chrome OS Flex – schools and businesses won’t have to work as hard to adopt Chrome OS as with Microsoft’s old system.

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