Google touts iPhone, Chrome browser

Google heaps praise on the iPhone, Chrome and their cloud potential at the Office 2.0 Conference.

A Google executive Thursday heaped praise on Apple's iPhone, even with his company set to challenge Apple in this same space with its Android mobile computing platform.

During the cloud computing-focused Office 2.0 conference, Google's Matthew Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, revealed his list of 10 things that can be done in the cloud today that could not have been done a year ago. Although the list focused on Google technologies, including its newly introduced Chrome browser, the tenth spot on the list was reserved for praise of Apple's iPhone.

"I'm a huge Apple fan, I'm a huge iPhone fan. It's really opened up computing in the mobile world," Glotzbach said, emphasizing the iPhone's impact on cloud computing. With his iPhone, he said he can perform tasks such as accessing e-mail and documents and even flip through the presentation he was set to give Thursday morning. "The mobile landscape has really been transformed by the iPhone," he said.

Google, however, has its upcoming Android mobile platform, which could become a formidable challenger to iPhone. Asked after his presentation whether he would switch to an Android unit, Glotzbach took a wait-and-see approach. "We'll have to see when it comes out. I use the best device that there is for getting what I need done," he said.

Glotzbach is not the first Google executive to tip his hat to the iPhone in recent time. Rich Miner, Google group manager for mobile platforms, did so at the eComm conference in March but did temper his praise with some criticism.

Much of Glotzbach's presentation served as a pitch for the company's application technologies such as Chrome browser and Google Talk, which supports translation between different languages.

There are 500,000 businesses using Google Apps, which includes the company's in-the-cloud business applications, Glotzbach said. There are 3,000 businesses each day signing up for Google Apps, he said.

Touting the ability to run fast, secure, and stable Web applications as another top-10 trend, Glotzbach touted Chrome, which was unveiled earlier this week.

"Obviously, the browser today is the gateway to the cloud," Glotzbach said. Chrome presents a leap forward in terms of speed, usability and its capability for the next generation of Web applications. He also emphasized the browser's V8 JavaScript engine, saying it is much faster than what Microsoft offers in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft even could adopt V8, since it is open source, Glotzbach pointed out. "I'd love it if Microsoft took some of the innovations we [put] in the browser and built on them," he said in an interview after his presentation.

Other trends cited on Glotzbach's list included the ability to search through several years' worth of e-mail. Google's Gmail enables this capability, according to Glotzbach. Users also can e-mail from an IMAP client.

Another trend, the capability to chat with customers and partners in any language, was enabled by Google Talk and Google's translation capability, Glotzbach said.

The ability to collaborate simply and securely, cited as another trend, is being enabled by Google Docs, Glotzbach said. "It's changed the way I collaborate. It's broken down those barriers."

Other trends cited included:

* The ability to organize business travel via e-mail, through the third-party TripIt application. * Easy collection of data from coworkers and customers via forms, also via Google Docs and Spreadsheets. * The building of scalable business applications in the cloud, such as what Salesforce.com offers via Force.com. * The ability to create templates in Google Docs. * Sharing of video inside Google Apps.

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