CHARTS OF THE WEEK: Here's The REAL Reason That Google Is Making Chrome OS

SAI chart Windows operating income

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  • Remember Ringtones?
  • Here’s The REAL Reason That Google Is Making Chrome OS
  • Google’s Login Is More Popular Than Facebook Connect
  • Another Reason Google TV Is Doomed
  • Time To Bring Out The Wii 2

Remember Ringtones?

Here's what a dying tech trend looks like. Ringtones were super-hot in the middle of last decade, as everyone started to get mobile phones, and have since fallen in popularity. Note the diminishing spikes around Christmas, which peaked in 2004.

One odd thing on this chart, via Google Trends: A sustained increase in interest in ringtones in the second half of this year. What could be causing this? According to mobile music Thumbplay, it might have something to do with the rise of search from smartphones, especially Android phones. But that's just a guess.

Here's The REAL Reason That Google Is Making Chrome OS

Why is Google making Chrome OS, an operating system for PCs?

In part, perhaps, to boost Google search queries or Google web apps or Google-something-else. In part, perhaps, as a novel pet project -- because Google's founders think it's cool to do a little bit of everything. In part, perhaps, to give people a more modern PC experience for less money.

But the REAL reason is that it's a big chance to disrupt Google's archrival Microsoft, and to start to destroy its core business, Windows.

Despite all the things that Microsoft is involved in -- servers, Office, gaming, MSN, Xbox, Zune, phones -- Windows is still by far its biggest profit driver. During the last eight quarters, Microsoft's Windows division represented 51% of the company's operating income, including as much as 63% in an individual quarter.

By attacking Microsoft's core business with Chrome OS, Google is taking a small risk that could have a major payoff. Because the weaker Windows is, the weaker Microsoft is, and the less it can afford to try to attack Google. (Similarly, this is why Microsoft continues to dump money into Bing; to try to destroy Google's core search business.)

Now the question is whether Chrome OS will last, or whether it's a huge waste of time -- and that Google's attack on Windows would be stronger via a unified push behind Android.

Google's Login Is More Popular Than Facebook Connect

Surprise! Google login is used by more people than Facebook Connect, according to data from Janrain Engage, a site that puts login widgets on websites.

Janrain based its data on logins across 300,000 different websites.

When we saw this chart we almost didn't believe it. After all, Facebook Connect gets most of the hype and attention. Further, companies are using Facebook Connect as a cornerstone of their business, something that must scare Google.

The good news here for Google is that it has traction with people logging into different sites. If it can settle its internal battles over social, it could build a universal login product that rivals Facebook, and produces similarly valuable information.

Another Reason Google TV Is Doomed

Gaming consoles are the new media hubs, according to data from Nielsen. About one quarter of the people that own a Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation are using them to watch web video.

This is a pretty impressive number, and it's interesting to think about in light of Google TV and Apple TV. If many console users are already streaming video, then there's less need for either Apple or Google's boxes.

Further, a Logitech Revue running Google TV software goes for $300. An Xbox 360 with Kinect goes for about the same amount. Would you rather have an advanced gaming machine with some web streaming, or device for just web video that only works OK?

Time To Bring Out The Wii 2

It's time for Nintendo to bring out the Wii HD, or the Wii 2, or something new.

Sales of the once super hot gaming console are flat to down for last year or so, and Nintendo is looking at its smallest annual profit in six years.

And while it used to beat the Microsoft Xbox handily on a monthly basis, the Wii lost the sales battle in November by a narrow margin. Microsoft's Kinect is spurring sales.

So when can we expect a new Wii? Well, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says it doesn't have to come out in 2011. We hope for Nintendo's sake he's just being coy.

CHARTS OF THE LAST WEEK: How People REALLY Use Twitter

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  • The Hottest Tech Stock No One Talked About This Year
  • How People REALLY Use Twitter
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