By samoore (1251644867|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)
The past week has been an extremely busy week for Google, especially considering it released its first Web Browser (Google Chrome). Some major news items and other odds & ends about Google:
Google Releases "Google Chrome" Beta
Chrome was officially released last week, but since this is a fairly big deal and this is the first Google update, I decided I should talk about it. Google has the tendency to release everything under a "Beta" test even though it has been tested internally for quite some time and tested among a select group of internet users and bloggers. This is there way of making an excuse for why a product of theirs is not completely perfect. In case any of you don't know, Google Chrome is Google's attempt at taking on Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, and Safari. My initial impressions of Google Chrome are a combination of "Wow", "Bleh", and "Need 3 More Months to Decide".
- Favorite websites auto-load together on one page when you start up Chrome
- Memory management features drastically reduce risk of huge memory usage
- Google Chrome did not die when I opened up 120 tabs
- Failed Acid2 Compatibility Test (78/100)
- Decent amount of compatibility issues
- The design just does not work for me
Need 3 More Months to Decide
- Potential for lots of add-ons, currently none exist
- Memory management features only affect/influence tech-savvy people
- IE8 is about to steal some thunder - should be amazing
In summary- Chrome is pretty nice. It has a small footprint, runs quick, and acts efficient. There is currently no OS X version which I am sure will upset a lot of people. Google has been quiet in the market for some time, but its competitors can’t just respond with silence. Bring on Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 4 and Safari 4. As much as Google seems to have the Midas Touch with all of their products, I think Google will have a tougher time in this market than usual.
The real beauty of Chrome is not how it looks, how it performs, or what it does….it's what it means to the software industry. Google Chrome is being phrased as "cloud computing's operating system". The term "cloud computing" is something only people really into the software industry know and understand. In a nutshell, it refers to applications that rely on Computing-as-a-Service - the ability to scale computing power and storage instantaneously based on needs and transforms computing power into a utility (similar to electricity and water). The software architecture within Chrome lets the application (and other add-on apps) take advantage of the principle of cloud computing. Chrome will work flawlessly with Google's future and current cloud offerings (Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, etc). Chrome is how Google wants you to access, use, and manage these applications….sounds like an operating system to me.
Google Android Coming to a Phone Near You September 23rd
Operating systems for mobile phones was usually a oft-ignored topic until the news of Google Android hit the scene. Android is Google's entry into the mobile phone market and will offer a plethora of search, performance, reliability, and expandability features. There has been a lot of speculation as to when Android will finally be open to the public and with what carrier(s)/phone(s). That question was answered on Friday. Android will be released on September 23rd on the HTC Dream. From HTC's website:
The HTC Dream will be the first Android enabled phone to the market and it is slated for a Fall 2008 Release Date. You can expect the phone to have an exceptional list of features and specs to illustrate the power of Android, Google’s new open source mobile operating system.
Unfortunately, the HTC Dream will be a T-Mobile exclusive. It will be interesting to see if people flock to T-Mobile like they did to AT&T when the iPhone was released. However, the iPhone was a complete Apple solution (hardware + OS), Google only designed the OS for HTC's phone. Nevertheless, the Dream is a pretty solid phone and one I am sure could/will generate immediate interest from those with other carriers.
One important point that many people forget in the "OMG a gPhone!" craze is that Android is not targeting the same people that OS X targets - Android is much more about open source, custom applications, and expandability/openness. OS X was about design, eye candy, and combining the iPod, Phone, PDA, and Web Browsing experience on an Apple platform. The people truly excited about Android are techy/engineering people who like to write their own applications or gadgeteers who want the newest thing.
Industry insiders who have worked on Google Inc's (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Android mobile operating system say it will struggle in the near term to match the consumer enthusiasm generated by Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) when its iPhone redefined the touch-screen phone market and greatly improved mobile Web surfing.
Instead, Google sees Android as an open-source platform for designing mobile devices, saying it will encourage innovation by allowing outside software developers to tinker with the system and create better mobile programs and services. (Source)
Nevertheless, I think Android will be a catalyst for many new mobile applications in the cloud and a killer-app for mobile search. The ability to integrate all of Google's search products and productivity software into a phone that will run them all flawlessly should be a major hit.
Google Begins to Scan Newspaper Archives
Have you ever wondered what the news was on March 12th, 2001? Did you forget to cut out an article from November 21st, 2005? Within a few months you should be able to get those articles thanks to Google's new initiative to scan newspaper archives. Hopefully everyone knows about how Google scans books for its Google Book search - soon you will be able to find news articles written by [insert random newspaper] from [insert date].
Google announced that it plans to begin digitizing newspaper archives, make them searchable via Google News at first, and later via the newspapers’ own website. Google already archives back issues of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time. These publications were previously available in digital formats.
The paper digitizing service will make articles printed in the papers searchable by keyword and the articles will be displayed in their full layout as they originally appeared in the newspaper. Google already has a similar operation scanning books. In the book scanning program, Google got into some hot water over its failure to get permission before scanning copyrighted works. Microsoft at one time also ran a book scanning program, which was later halted because the book scanning program didn’t fit with Microsoft's goals.
I find it very confusing why these archived newspapers will be on Google News first and then added to the newspapers' own sites at a later date. Does anyone else get the feeling Google will eventually need its own country to store all the hard drives and computers they will eventually need to store the oceans of new forms of data they are trying to collect? When our parents were younger, lets say someone in a small town did something stupid and got written up in the newspaper about it. It would be a big deal for about 2 weeks, maybe 2 months, but eventually in 2 years its forgotten and most copies of the newspaper are destroyed and out of the public's view. Soon, if I get my name in the paper for doing anything bad (protesting on the sidewalk or something) it will exist forever in a Google server.
Source Article: Dailytech - Google Set to Begin Scanning Newspaper Archives
Google Puts Plans in Motion to Use 100% Alternative Energy by 2030
With its hundreds of thousands of servers operating 24/7/365, it is pretty clear Google uses a lot of electricity. The decision to use alternative energy is a simple math problem according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt:
[Eric] says that the justification for adopting alternative energy boils down to basic math, with the formula energy efficiency = savings (or E2=$) being the key. He stated, "It's just a math problem." The math adds up, he says. The result will be to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half, which he says will help to avert man-made climate change. He says there are also great financial benefits to the adoption. He says the U.S. would save 97 percent of $2.17 trillion in energy spending over the next 22 years.
More information can be read from the source article: DailyTech - Google Alternative Energy by 2010
Other Minor Odds & Ends
- Google purchases Tatter & Company, a Korean blogging company, to expand its reach in Asia (Source)
- Google's new $600m plant in Goose Creek, SC is under way (Source)
- Google will begin selling ads to NBC networks via its Google TV service (Source)
- Google releases Google Video - an enterprise version of Youtube for private video/collaboration networks within companies (Source)
- Google cuts the retention time for users' search data in half from 18 to 9 months (Source)
- A great example of how people only care about/click on the first 3 results from Google (Source)
Finally, check out this great post on the official Google Blog about "The Future of Search" - provides some very interesting information