Tag: Google

Ralf HallerRalf Haller September 24, 2008

Will the Google Android phone rock the mobile world?

I doubt it. To me the idea of bringing an open mobile platform into the market to drive innovation is a honorable goal and deserves respect. Will it also rock the mobile phone market? No, I don’t think so. For the exact same reasons why Linux has not taken over the Windows and Apple OS PC market, the new Google Android platform will appeal to the Unix freaks among us and be a nice cool platform to built your own applications, but won’t attract the masses.

First of all Apple has stolen the show with its AppStore months ago and has shown with the iPhone what it takes to offer great usability. The Google Android phone lacks also behind other platforms like Symbian or Blackberry and I bet even behind Microsoft’s Windows Mobile that most people hate. So what will happen to it? With Google behind it it will survive many years and depending on how much more Google will put into it remain valid as a platform for the Linux guys around. To make it a mass market success though Google should have better partnered with Apple’s iPhone and bring its strength in Search and some Google apps such as maps to that platform. I think over time that will happen too but for now the Google boys have another great toy and will play with it and since they don’t need to make money with it they will let them play for a long time to come.

If I would be a software developing company who wants to make money though this platform would not be interesting. Still there are many Linux folks out there who make things without the $ sign in front of them and they will like it I guess. I am sure Steve Jobs had a big smile in his face when he watched the announcement probably thinking that these guys don’t get what it takes to enter the mass market with success over night.

As for me I will play around with the Google Android phone when I get a chance next time I am in a mobile phone store that carries it and I am sure will drop it quickly as I got used now to my iPhone and expect any similar device to offer me the same user experience or even better. By then the iPhone apps will be in the second generation which will widen the gap even more.

Ralf HallerRalf Haller September 8, 2008

Why does Google own the highest res. satellite data now?

As reported today a satellite which allows pictures of the earth to be taken down to the size of a tennis ball (not really – but half a meter) is now owned by Google (its data). The satellite was launched from the US military base Vandenberg (halfway between San Jose and LA in California, which is closed airspace for the public). Google will soon see what people are eating as they sit on their veranda… I see good and bad things here. As usual “Search” book author John Battelle who is always quite negative about Google talks about it in his blog that way:

And it brings Google one step closer to what I think could be the company’s Waterloo – a viral meme that Google is sensing too much, knows too much, and is too powerful. It may not be rational, but no one ever accused humans of being entirely rational.”

While I am more relaxed about this all he addresses a key problem for Google: Public perception. Already with its browser launch they got a lot of bad press in the European news and I even saw the German news Tagesschau reporting that the German BSI data security organization warns users against using the new browser. This was mentioned in front of millions in the 8pm news. On their website they have a more in depth interview though with a German IT journalist that is more differentiated.