Steve Job and Apple announced iCloud this week and this was revolutionary and exciting for the media because Apple has taken the name “cloud” and put an “i” in front of it! Wow! Thanks again Apple! We worship you!
Why does every Apple announcement remind me of the scene in toy story where the little green aliens say “Ooooohhh…the Claw” ?
“Apple’s cloud is timid: it’s about storage and synching as opposed to a streaming, real-time, extension to your actual machine.” – Article from Wired
But I digress… The point of this post is really that Microsoft continues to spiral down. Granted, they’ve traditionally been flying so high that the downward spiral will take years before it hits the ground and give plenty of time to pull the nose up, but for now that hasn’t happened.
Microsoft recently announced a new version of their OS. Supposedly a “radical” departure from past versions. And to demonstrate just how radical of a departure it really is, they gave it a new and exciting name … Windows 8! (yawn). I’ll just repeat what I’ve said a dozen times already, unless Microsoft can resist the urge to call everything “Windows Something”, it will never turn this ship around. Windows is un-cool! Nobody wants anything Windows related.
And get this, it’s going to have aspects of the interface from iPhone7 layered on top of the traditional Windows OS. So a user-interface layered on top of a user-interface. Sounds desperate. Microsoft grasping at anything as an excuse to launch Windows 8 without actually doing anything new. I predict that sales will show that they should have called it “Vista 2″.
Google’s vision is much more far reaching and long term. Google envisions a day when your device is nothing more than a window into your virtual computer on the cloud. All the power, all the storage, all the applications running “on the net”. That’s what true cloud computing is and I commend them for that. The problem is that to truly realize this dream requires a very high speed (and more importantly, low delay) network. Not today, not tomorrow, but soon.
A few weeks ago, nobody could figure out why Nokia announced it was switching to Windows Phone 7. As it turns out, the answer is that Microsoft payed Nokia 1 Billion. Now it makes sense (no, not really). Nokia’s sinking ship is willing to tie itself exclusively to Microsoft’s sinking ship because Microsoft’s boat is bigger and sinking slower.
But the decision still doesn’t make much sense given that Microsoft reportedly outbid Google. What that means is Nokia could have accepted a large amount of money from Google to latch on to it’s rising space ship (Android), but instead accepted slightly more money for a deck chair on the Titanic.
Perhaps Nokia decided to favor Windows Phone 7 because there are relatively fewer handset makers doing so. Android is now on so many devices that it’s hard to separate yourself from the pack. On the other hand, Nokia has traditionally been a commodity handset maker which would seem to align better with Android, to say nothing of the fact that Android is based on Linux which was invented in Finland, Nokia’s head office. I guess they have other ideas…
The Android army continues to march. While Android growth rates are impressive, it’s still a relatively small segment of the market but the new Android devices are creating more and more buzz so I expect growth will continue to accelerate.
The Internet was shocked when Google and Verizon teamed up and released a statement which outlines network neutrality rules for wireless. It appears that Google has reversed it’s previous position that the network should remain neutral and is now backing the idea that wireless providers should be able to manipulate wireless data. The key passage from Google’s policy blog:
“Sixth, we both recognize that wireless broadband is different from the traditional wireline world, in part because the mobile marketplace is more competitive and changing rapidly. In recognition of the still-nascent nature of the wireless broadband marketplace, under this proposal we would not now apply most of the wireline principles to wireless,”
The logic here seems to be that because, at any given location you can obtain wireless service from several different providers, market forces will keep the wireless providers in-line. If your provider is slowing access to a service you want, you can easily switch to a different provider.
This is a surprising and disappointing statement from Google. Fundamentally the importance of a neutral network does not decrease based on the medium it’s transported over nor the amount of competition. Furthermore, history shows that there is a strong likelihood that wireless providers will merge into fewer & larger companies decreasing competition over time. As our experience in Canada demonstrates, having only a handful of wireless competitors does not make them especially competitive. On the contrary, they tend to all offer more or less the same thing.
Google was previously the most important supporter of network neutrality and this statement is basically an admission that a neutral network isn’t actually all that important. The network neutrality movement has always faced strong opposition and this just might cause it to unravel.
CNN continues to circle the drain. What happened to this former “most trusted” news authority? I’m consistantly stunned by what a joke it’s become. I guess they are trying to emulate Fox?
Anyhow, the premise of this story is that Google, for all it’s cash and prestige, actually never releases a “killer” anything. It’s fair comment that Google has had many unsuccessful “product” releases, but, it seems this particular “business insider” hasn’t been paying attention.
First, the dismissive claim that the only thing Google has ever done well is its original search engine. Uh what?
First of all, even if that were true, search is still the most important application on the web and Google’s turned it into gold not only by making the best search engine, but by creating adwords. The dominance of search can not be dismissed. It still makes Google is still the most important company on the web and if Google never did anything else, they would still make a zillion dollars.
But setting aside search for the moment, somehow, Dan Frommer has never looked up an address on Google maps, or watched his own channel (CNN) zoom in on a map using Google Earth. What about street view? If ever their was a “killer-app” on the web, that has to be it. He says, “Google is no product-killer” ? Perhaps he should go ask the map makers at Rand McNally or map-quest their opinion on that?
And what about that gmail thing? Granted that Google hasn’t destroyed anyone, but GMail slammed hotmail and does anyone still have a yahoo mail account? I guess they do if they love spam.
How about phones? The article makes a big deal about how Google launched, the canceled it’s Nexus One phone making it sound like Google’s attempt at getting into phones was over, case closed… This must be intentional ignorance. The Nexis One was introduced to demonstrate the power of Google’s Android phone operating system which is now gaining market share at stunning rate. While the “iPhone” gets all the press, Android is steadily gaining market share.
As I’ve pointed out before, unlike Apple which is the only company that can release iX-ish products (iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc) Android can be taken and used by anyone. Thus it’s starting to appear on phones, tablets, set-top boxes, netbooks, and the list continues to grow.
I think maybe CNN is a bit sore over that other “non-killer-app”, Google news. Ya, the one that is so not important that every news outlet in America has been whining about the “death of real journalism”. Or maybe it’s the threat that youtube will replace news channels where you have to sit through hours of garbage just to see a few solid news stories?
Let us not forget the punch line to all this; Apple and Microsoft buy adds on CNN, Google does not. But of course this would never have any influence on a company with true journalistic integrity would it?
If anyone had doubts about the impact Google is having on the mobile space, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) should have put those doubts to rest.
Ad revenue from Android phones are the fastest growing segment of the mobile ad space and mobile carriers are starting to make some disturbing pronouncements such as Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao declaring that they may start to charge search engines for access to their network. Cell phone carriers are true “bellheads“. They just can’t fathom a network where they don’t control every aspect of it. I’m just dieing to see what happens when Vodafone cuts off their customers from Google (“What? Your network doesn’t have ‘The Internet’?!?!).
But I digress. The point of this post is that even though the iPhone still gets all the media attention, Google’s Android is the one gaining market share and making the most waves in telecom circles.
And it won’t stop there. Android’s openness is poised to make it the most disruptive technology this decade. Unlike the iPhone which only runs on devices developed, sanctioned and released by Apple, Android can run on anything. Soon it’ll be popping up not only on phones, but netbooks, laptops, TVs, desk phones and absolutely anything that device manufactures want to put an interface on.
Android won’t just challenge the smart phone market, but it has the potential to make inroads into every consumer technology out there; tipping over everyone’s apple cart as it goes.
According to a story in PC World “Acer remains on track to launch a version of its Aspire One netbook with Google’s Android mobile operating system in the third quarter of this year, a company representative said Wednesday.”
This confirms my suspicion that Andriod will make it’s way onto netbooks but I’m a bit confused how Google’s recently announced CromeOS fits into the picture. Why develop two separate operating systems targeting essentially the same devices?