Does Microsoft fear Google’s Chromebooks or the people who buy them?

Microsoft never liked Larry Ellison’s network computers. Clinging to that orthodoxy risks another mis-step.

The 1990’s were the greatest of times for Microsoft and Windows but history will surely record it as the era when its leaders also painted themselves into some pretty disastrous corners.  

The most ridiculous was Bill Gates downplaying the Internet and browsers but there were others almost as embarrassing; Ballmer convincing himself that Windows Mobile was good enough to ‘own’ what turned into the smartphone sector and the daft belief that Internet malware would have no effect on the non-interventionist Windows security model.

All wrong turns, later reversed at some cost and delay, but nearly two decades on it is starting to look as if we should add Oracle and Larry Ellison’s Network Computer (NC) to bucket list of mis-steps.