Expresses doubts about its function, says it's nothing new

Bill Gates questions relevance of Chrome OS

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has outlined his views on the recently announced Chrome OS, and appears to be dubious about what function the potential rival is intended to perform.

“There’s many, many forms of Linux operating systems out there, and packaged in different ways, and booted in different ways, so I don’t know anything in particular about what Google is doing,” Gates remarked in an interview with CNET.

“In some ways I’m surprised people are acting like there’s something new. I mean, you’ve got Android running on Netbooks; it’s got a browser in it. In any case, you should make them be concrete about what they’re doing. It is kind of a typical thing. When Google is doing anything it gets this – the more vague they are, the more interesting it is.”

When asked about the whether the browser should take on more characteristics of operating systems, Gates added: “It just shows the word browser has become a truly meaningless word. Anyway, what’s a browser, what’s not a browser? If you’re playing a movie, is that a browser or not a browser? If you’re editing text, is that a browser or not a browser? In large part it’s more an abuse of terminology than a real change.”

Gates’ comments follow remarks made by Steve Ballmer in a Q&A session at this years Worldwide Partner Conference.

“Who knows what this thing is?” he said. “To me the Chrome OS thing is highly interesting – it won’t happen for a year and a half and they already announced the Android operating system.”

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