Google’s techno-dream comes in three bytes. The first is loosely referred to as “universal search”. Scribbling frantically on a whiteboard, Mayer, Google’s head of search products and user experience, says the web is currently “very limited and primitive”. It consists mainly of words, images and some music, mostly created in the last few years. There is much, much more that could – and should – be online. At its simplest level, this includes every film, TV show, video or radio broadcast ever made; every book, academic paper, pamphlet, government document, map, chart and blog ever published in any language anywhere; and any piece of music ever recorded. Google is currently developing new software that will scan millions of new sources of information to give richer search results.
The second part of Google’s techno-dream is “personalised search”. Google has just launched iGoogle, a new turbocharged version of its regular search service. It allows Google to monitor our search and web-surfing history, so that it can find out who we are, how old we are, what job we do, whether we are married and have children, where we go on holiday, what we do in our spare time – anything, in fact, that it can glean from our web-surfing, which, since we do so much online these days, means pretty much everything. Google wants us to sign up for iGoogle on our PC, and also to install it, along with Gmail, Google Maps and Google Earth software, on our mobile phone, so that it knows not just who we are but where we are in the world, 24 hours a day, thanks to the satellite-positioning chips starting to be included in mobile phones.
The final piece of the Google future is called “cloud computing”. Instead of using the internet to search for information that we then copy and use to work on documents stored on the hard drives of our computers, using the software on those computers, Google wants us to create all our documents online, to work on them online using Google’s web-based software, and to store them online on Google’s vast global network of servers. Google has recently launched its own web-based software programs – called Google Apps – that enable us to create password-protected word files and spreadsheets, edit them and store them online. These applications – along with Gmail, Calendar, Google’s online diary, Picasa, its picture-management and storage system, and Presentations, its online version of PowerPoint – mean Google will provide all our computing and storage needs, not on our PCs but, as Mayer puts it, “in the computational cloud”.
It all begs one key question: why? What makes a bunch of California geeks who are relaxed enough to spend their lives creating extraordinary products – and then give them away for nothing – suddenly want to take over the world, or at least its information?
My Thoughts will be voiced soon on google. But I think this article is there to be highlighted for being crisp and clear! And yeah the fundamental reasons why competition is finding it harder to catch up – their core strength algorithms (thats open strategy), ability to scale and yeah extra loads of cash in case things go wrong :-).
Note: I am not putting UI and hardware as their core strength. I think I will give Apple a thumbs up for that. And I am not putting opportunistic behavior (understanding mass market and branding etc…) also, I give Microsoft credit for that ;P!