To be honest, I haven't been very impressed with any of the products that Google has released besides the dominating trifecta of Search, Maps, and GMail. Pretty much every other product that Google has released is pretty ho-hum. I'm not counting services that Google has bought like YouTube, Picasa, Blogger, GrandCentral (Google Voice) etc. which are great products. To name a few in no particular order: * Orkut * Android * Google Shopping * Google Checkout * Google Finance The telling one here is Android. I have used an Android phone (not the new Nexus One, but the Droid) and found it to be supremely disappointing versus the iPhone. Supposedly, the Nexus One is supposed to be better but from all the online demos I've seen of the Nexus One, it's incrementally better than the Droid but not by leaps and bounds. Unlike Microsoft, I don't see Apple getting complacent about their product development and Google has a lot of ground to make up.
I don't think much of Google's Chrome OS and I guess Steve Ballmer shares my sentiment. Even still, he should be a little bit more humble/respectful when speaking about competition nowadays. Though I believe that behind closed doors, Microsoft takes any and all threats to its OS monopoly very seriously, it doesn't hurt to publicly show a little humility given their stumbles lately.
Second, the rumblings are that Eric Schmidt needs to leave Apple's board because of potential competitive issues. He currently recuses himself from board meetings that deal with the iPhone due to Google competing Android product. Will he now recuse himself when there is talk of Mac OS? So pretty much he's just there to discuss iPods? Seems like a waste of space in my opinion. However, my prediction is that Schmidt does not leave Apple's board. This leads me to believe that the Google Chrome OS is not really going to be an OS in the traditional sense of the word which means it doesn't really compete with Mac OS and for that matter, Windows. Let's remember, it's basically Linux with the Chrome browser bolted on top. The real point of the Chrome OS is to push more Chrome installations and not to beat Windows. Believe me, it takes more than just having a superior OS to take significant market share away from Microsoft. Look at Mac OS and the ahead of its time BeOS. Both were better operating systems yet couldn't even make a dent in Windows. I hardly doubt ANOTHER Linux variant is going to fair any better.