When the search giant unveiled Chromebooks at the Google I/O developer conference earlier this month, presenters logged into these new Chrome OS-powered machines using the user name “Tom Rizzo”, a not-so-subtle reference to Microsoft’s senior director of the same name who is in charge of their online services business. NetworkWorld chatted with Rizzo who responded when briefed on Google’s demo, “Me logging into a Chromebook will never be a reality,” calling the Microsoft vs. Google spat “a little fun rivalry”. He also criticized Google’s claims that it expected three quarters of business users to ditch Windows-based notebooks for Chromebooks and Google’s cloud-based productivity tools:

Chromebooks don’t change the game at all from a productivity standpoint. Excel is just a million years ahead of what Google Docs provides.

I guess he didn’t get the memo. A netbook is “pretty much the same thing” as a Chromebook, he argued. And the following quote is perhaps the most headline-grabbing…

“When Larry or Sergey or Eric Schmidt “go to court or go get their driver’s licenses, they’ll be using Microsoft technology on the back end to do all those things”, the outspoken CEO boasted. Microsoft also stole the headlines yesterday with the announcement from CEO Steve Ballmer that Windows 8 will launch next year and power “slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors”. And speaking at the Microsoft Developer Forum 2011, Ballmer revealed that Windows Phone 7.5 code-named Mango will contain about five hundred new features. The software will arrive to market “later this year”, he said.

Microsoft is set to formally detail Windows Phone 7.5  at a New York conference later today.

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