The two most notable technology firms in the world look set to duke it out on pretty much every front in a battle of nerdy, nerdy titans. This should be fun to watch.

Microsoft’s less than overwhelming launch of it’s new search engine, Bing, was a direct challenge to Google’s search supremacy. All anyone really had to do was wait and see how the big, friendly giant of the Internet reacted.

Well, the wait is over. Google responded to Microsoft’s encroachment on it’s territory in kind yesterday, announcing plans for a spanking new operating system that essentially swats Redmond across the face with a big white glove.

While some netbooks are already using Google’s open source Android OS, it’s proven not quite adequate for everyday computing. But the plan for the new, full fledged OS is more an extension of Google’s Chrome browser(which, full disclosure, I started using at it’s launch and have continued without looking back). For the Chrome OS, Google is looking to make a svelte operating system without a lot of bells and whistles. It will open directly to the web browser, where all of the applications will run. That sort of leanness in an OS may seem like a risky proposition, and it probably is. But if anyone can pull it off, it’s Google, whose extant online programs are steadily gaining popularity.