Wow, lots of feedback to my “Google will do an Office Suite and OS–but probably not their own PC” post.
Some points about the theory broken down into what I consider pro and con, questions, as well as insights. Note: I made the call as to what the person is saying (read their post and form your own opinion of what their take is since most folks are on the fence on this issue):
1. Insight (from Dave Winer): Google should be careful to protect their base in search.
Dave points out–quite astutely–that Google better protect their base because Microsoft beats people by getting them to take their eye off the ball (check Netscape, Lotus, etc). Good one Dave.
2. Pro (from Marc Orchant): Google Pack is a backdoor into people’s desktops.
Marc Orchant couldn’t make it to CES (I will make sure he is there next year–personally), but he makes some good points about Google Pack being a back door into people’s PCs. This dovetails with my thoughts on them getting into the OS business. If Google can partner for 3rd party apps their job of putting out an OS gets much easier because they can focus on their base.
Think about that for a second. Microsoft spent the last 20 years putting small software companies out of business by incorporating their applications into the OS–now Google is fragmenting the industry again by making it one click for users to install at some point perhaps 100 different best of breed applications on their machine. Some of us remember the days when you had to buy a media player, calendar, notepad, image editor, and even a clock!
As much as Google says they are not fighting with Microsoft the more I think about it the more it looks like they are trying to cut their knees out from under them. A free Office suite alone would be the ultimate smack down to Microsoft with only possible exception of an OS.
3.Question (Doc Searls): “Where will the ads run? Just wondering.”
Doc: If Google wanted to be hardcore they could do a hardware model here where 5% the monitor space was given to a banner ad. However, it’s more likely that they will simple put a lot of defaults to Google Ads in their software and live and die by that. If the users wipes the hard disk and reinstalls Windows, or just elects to not use Google services, so be it. Microsoft has a huge head start by being the default.
In our industry being the default is the next best thing to having a monopoly or owning the channel.
4. Insight (from Ben Barren): There is something to this model–he thinks.
Ben says he worked at a Virtual Communities, an Australian company, that tried this and got in a little over his head.
5. Pro (from Nicholas Car): “Google desperately wants to avoid ceding to Microsoft control over a PC’s default software settings, particularly those controlling the desktop-search and web-browser applications.”
Other folks linking/commenting: ZD doesn’t think so
Please post related URLs in the comments below if you find them.