Google Constellation?

Some of you may remember a product from Netscape around 1997 called
Constellation. This was back in the days when Netscape was riding high,
having rejected a huge buyout offer from Microsoft.  Constellation
was a frontal assault on the Windows franchise — an attempt to make
the browser the primary interface for accessing files and
applications.  Microsoft responded with various mechanisms to put
Web content on the Windows desktop, and tightly integrated Internet
Explorer into Windows.  Of course, Contellation failed, Netscape
lost its browser lead, and the company was never heard from
again.  (Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.)

So what to make of Google Deskbar
In an eerily parallel development, Google reportedly rejected a $10
billion buyout offer from Microsoft, and is now launching a product
that puts Google directly onto the Windows desktop.  Google’s
executives are much wiser that Netscape’s, so you don’t hear any
sabre-rattling about how they are going to crush Windows.  Google
CEO Eric Schmidt has been at two companies — Sun and Novell — that
bore the brunt of successful Microsoft assaults, so you can bet he
understands the game he’s paying. 

Perhaps Google has to go after Windows, or be a sitting duck when
Microsoft comes after its search franchise.  That’s clearly what
Microsoft intends.  With its extraordinary financial and research
assets, Microsoft can close the technical gap with Google’s search
engine.  Whether it can overcome Google’s mindshare is another
question.