Business Week look at Google’s X Lab. Next you’ll be telling me they have a single stage to orbit rocket that can fly through a round house, a transport plane in a cliff, and Mach 22 capable swing wing aircraft under the swimming pool.
Posts Tagged ‘google’
So Marrisa Mayer, current Yahoo CEO and former Google VP, is trying to get the company out of the web-search deal with Microsoft, to presumably switch to one with Google (who have indicated they are willing to go into a similar partnership with the purple site).
Colour me surprised.
Buried in these hallowed grounds are some of Google’s ill-fated services. Some, like Google Reader, lived long, prosperous lives, full of admiration and glory. Most, like Google Wave and Google Buzz, struggled to carve out a place in this harsh, unforgiving world where technologies continuously clash and innovation reigns king. But whether these services transformed our productivity or only polluted our inboxes, they all touched our world in some way.
Google’s blog post on Andy Rubin ‘handing over the reins’ of Android to Sundar Pichai has this doozy:
But his insight immediately struck a chord because at the time it was extremely painful developing services for mobile devices. We had a closet full of more than 100 phones and were building our software pretty much device by device. It was nearly impossible for us to make truly great mobile experiences.
Go on, ask any Android developer how many mobile devices they have to address with the platform to make a great mobile experience. I guess that Pichai’s first task will be to get the number of models to test to drop under the 100 phones mark.
I genuinely believe it. I mean, everyone is talking about it. It’s all over Facebook, and Twitter, and Techmeme. I 100% trust Google’s algorithm when it tells me that the $25 Google Play credit bundled with Nexus 7 is the one thing everyone is posting about online.
Even those people outside the US who are inelgible for the $25 credit are so excited about this that they have to be talking about it.
Bing, not Google, to be the search engine for the Kindle Fire tablets. Given Amazon is giving Google an end run on everything (ad revenue, primary sign-in on device, OS branding, app store, etc) it’s only natural they’d turn to another search engine. Still, nice bit of negotiation all round.
Give it six months, and that will probably make Bing the #1 search engine on Android tablets. I’ll be watching Tim Cook very carefully on Wednesday to see which search engine any new iPads will be using…
Why is this device a turning point? The quick answer is this: The Nexus 7 appears to be the best Android tablet I’ve ever seen and used — it’s also, by a country mile — the cheapest vs high spec that I’ve ever examined… The Nexus 7 starts at an awesome £159 for the 8GB version. That’s the turning point. £159 is nothing when you’re looking at £399 minimum for an iPad. The 7″ form factor works really nicely.
He’s going to use it in anger for a week or two. The result will be interesting, although I still struggle to see beyond the “tweener” problem of being too small to be tablet and too big to be a phone/pda.
Announcement of thrilling acquisition.
Reiteration of startup’s wildly ambitious founding notion.
Explanation that either Google or Facebook is the best place to change the world.
Acknowledgement (or sometimes non-acknowledgement) that the startup’s product is being discontinued or is going into limbo.
Expression of heartfelt gratitude to various supporters, usually including the consumers who are losing their something they liked.
Congratulations on landing something memorable for the Google Doodle on the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum, but (a) did we have to share it with St George and (b) given the lack of complexity on show, I suspect the designer was not a master of ZX Spectrum artwork… Yes it follows the rules, but there’s an art to packing in info on a Speccy Screen, and this isn’t quite it.
Differentiation means that you have a choice and the people who are making the phones, they’re going to compete on their view of innovation, and they’re going to try and convince you that theirs is better than somebody else… Fragmentation, however, means that you have an app and it runs on one device but not the other
You know, everyone can drive a truck through this argument, but polite society means you could never ask Schmidt the exact question to get an honest answer in an interview
Firefox’s sale of their search box, purchased by Google for three years and one billion dollars (give or take) has to be driven by something, especially as it’s three times what they were paying before. They’ve left behind “do no evil” so until I read otherwise, I’ll go with MG Siegler’s answer that they’re ensuring Firefox doesn’t damage their business by (a) going to Bing, or (b) going away and leaving Chrome as the dominant web browser… and Google open to Anti-Trust issues.
Okay, some pure speculation on my part (and a link-bait of a headline), but could the next twelve months see a pincer movement on Android that neuters the Google dominance in the mobile space?
On one side, Apple. They’ve just launched the iPhone 4S, with stunning sales. No matter what you think of the iPhone as a platform, the public see it as one of the leading handsets. Even when the Nokia N95 was technical delight, it was the Apple phone that caught the public.
Times have changed, and as Google pull out as many stops as they can to boost Android in the market place and with the public, Samsung is carrying the flag with the Galaxy range of devices. If you’ve been following the patent action, Apple is building up some potent weapons (especially in Australia) that could seriously slow down Android adoption (and the Oracle trial could do similar damage). Android is not a safe harbour, as witnessed by the number of companies striking their own patent licensing agreements with a number of companies.
There’s a lot of Android out there, but with a medium to long term view it appears to be on unstable ground.
On the other side, you have Microsoft with Windows Phone. As I write this, the unit numbers from 2011 are lower than Microsoft likely wanted, or expected, but they’ve got three pitchers in play right now that are likely to change that.
The first is the Mango update, which by all accounts has had a remarkably smooth roll out, has provided enough functionality to put Windows Phone on the same technical front as Android and iOS, and (perhaps most importantly) is being talked up by the Tech Press as being a suitable alternative. That mix is likely to build user confidence.
The second is Nokia, a company who’s real expertise is in moving things around the world at as low a cost as possible, be it rubber tyres, set-top boxes, or smartphones. They bring that logistics skill to Windows Mobile, as well as a tier one manufacturer ready to put 100% behind the Windows Mobile platform.
And finally, Windows Phone feels new. The Metro UI approach and the idea of seamless links between applications to break out of the "app – launcher – app – launcher – app" cycle gives a wonderful feel to the OS, and it’s sure to stick in people’s minds. Let’s cut a moment during Over the Air, where i demoed the HTC Trophy to an Apple developer. The look in her eyes as Metro flowed through all the information… well if an Apple fanatic can go "ooooh" then job done.
One of the things that’s been mentioned in the eulogies and memories of Steve Jobs in the last week has been the respect that Apple and Microsoft have for each other. Competitors they may be but they have been there for each other at certain points in their careers.
Now that the threat of Symbian is minimised (perhaps Belle is going to happily rule the B-Class), both Apple and Microsoft must be looking at Google’s Android as a hugely disruptive element in their plans going forward. Apple are selling as many phones as they can make, while Microsoft have all the pieces in place for one last push to get into the consumer mobile space.
So what if… Apple and Microsoft (even with Microsoft potentially ‘earning’ more per Android handset than their Windows Phone, they’re sure to want people inside the tent), with no collusion or meetings whatsoever, decide that rather than live with Google, they want to squash it? They appear to have the business critera, and arguably the weaponry is there.
All that’s left for the Android handset manufacturers is to either wait quietly and not get noticed, hope they can licence every patent they need (something Apple in Australia has said to Samsung they won’t do), or do one final ‘line in the sand’ lawsuit to settle this once and for all.
And then there’s Jaiku, which is now being put out of its misery by Google on January 15 next year. I’m sure that everyone and every company has projects that they wished they had focused on with hindsight (Psion going for their Wavefinder DAB Radio instead of the crazy idea of a hand-held MP3 music player in 2000 being my favourite).
But Jaiku is probably worse than that for Google. Their recent reputation and major launches appear to be built around try to create a huge connected social network, with mobile, location, long form messages when needed, and all the other bits and pieces that were present and working in Jaiku when they bought it… and promptly closed it to new members, asset stripped the team, and left it wither.
Google, when asked by 37signals, pointed out that the knowledge from Jaiku as shared in products like Latitude, Buzz, and Google Profiles, but if you want the one that got away, not just from Google but also from the Web 2.0 world, then it’s Jaiku. There were times, back in the day, when Twitter just went down with no warning for hours, or indeed days, at a time, and Jaiku was picking up the momentum and threatening to be the Twitter alternative. Was that enough, could Google, with a different choice, had their social network years before Plus?
We’ll never know…
Kevin Marks, re-iterating that Android is not just Google Android:
Why would Amazon do this [The Amazon Android tablet]? Because they are primarily in the shopping and media business. Apple has stopped them selling eBooks and media inside their apps on iPad/iPhone; Google has banned their App Store from the Google Android Market. Amazon could even offer a referral fee for anything bought via their store as an incentive for device manufacturers to ship it.
Everyone gets a t-shirt with Google from the front, and Zagat across the back. Awesomeness. The mood in the room is upbeat, with lots of excitement… While I can’t officially call Google my employer until the 6-8 week transition is through, I’m rather optimistic. My presence at the upcoming integration meetings with the remainder of the crowd being senior management is reassuring. Google is of course interested in new our vehicle for survey dissemination — the 5.0 website we redesigned and launched in February of this year. All this seems to hint towards IT being safe.
A fun look at the trenches when Google swooped in to Zagat, and made everyone happy with the power of neon lamps, beer, and a free breakfast. With my emphasis added at the end for that ominous note before ”end of part one” appears on the screen.