Microsoft has dominated the desktop software landscape for decades. While they have given up some ground in the server market to Linux, they are still nearly ubiquitous on the desktop. Google would love to change all that.
They have a new browser called Chrome that is much faster than Internet Explorer, at least from my experience. Chrome OS is a logical extension beyond the browser, and takes aim at the Microsoft Windows franchise. And like most offerings from Google, they are free. If computing in the workspace has become mostly about connecting to the Internet, efficient collaboration, and mobile computing, Chrome may be the Next Big Thing.
If the thought of giving up Microsoft Office makes you queasy, Google Docs has apps compatible with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Need email? There's a Google app for that. A calendar with a task list? Yessiree.
Does Google provide a perfect solution to all your needs? No. You'll have to get used to working a bit differently. But "Free" overcomes a lot of objections. Do the math. How much does it cost every few years to buy MS Office at $300 - $500 per seat? How much IT support is required to maintain the OS and Office software on an annual basis?
If anyone can put a dent in the Microsoft lock on the desktop, it’s Google. Your next computer just might be a sub-$300 netbook running ChromeOS and accessing Google Docs.