Google's mobile move: awe-inspiring and terrifying

Google's announcement on Monday of a mobile development platform that could radically alter the wireless market is yet another example of the lengths the company will go to keep its advertising business growing at a jaw-dropping rate.

It is also another awe-inspiring -- or terrifying, depending on one's perspective -- display of the engineering and business resources Google can unleash and of the power it has to influence, disrupt and rearrange markets.

It did it, originally, in the search engine market, of course, by building a better mousetrap at a time when finding information on the Web was a thoroughly unsatisfying experience because the incumbents for years had provided substandard services.

Along the way, it found a way to generate loads of advertising revenue, creating the empire that has given it the financial might to march into new markets and, while not always succeeding, at least spooking the existing players.

For example, in 2004, Gmail shook up the stale Webmail market, rousing complacent players like Microsoft and Yahoo and forcing them to innovate again in order to meet Google's challenge.

Likewise, it has gone, with various degrees of success, into instant messaging, photo management, radio, print and TV advertising, enterprise search, Web analytics and hosted business applications.

Now it has set its sights on the mobile market, where until now it has been an outsider with, at best, a peripheral role.

It's mighty ambitious of Google to waltz in and attempt to change basic, ingrained rules in a notoriously cutthroat market with powerful and long-established gatekeepers that are intensely protective of their own interests.

"What we have here is Google trying to move the whole mobile Internet forward through this alliance," said industry analyst Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence.

In a nutshell, Google announced a free, open-source application development platform called Android for mobile devices with the intention of eclipsing existing operating systems from Microsoft, Symbian, Palm and others.

In typical Google fashion, the move seems thought through with chess-like thoroughness.

"It's significant that they didn't build an actual Google phone" said Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney, referring to rumors to that effect. Such a move would have angered many potential partners. "That would have been a disaster."

Android will have a complete set of components, including a Linux-based operating system, middleware stack, customizable user interface and applications.

Google envisions that with Android, developers will flood the mobile market with new applications and online services that can be written once and deployed in many phones, something that, as Google sees it, the current mobile technical fragmentation prevents.

The goal: to radically improve the creation, delivery and provision of mobile online services and applications, in the hopes that as people find the experience more satisfying, their mobile Web and Internet usage will balloon, along with online ad revenue.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?