So I’ve been hearing all this buzz about Google taking over the world. Its actually really interesting since I’ve talked with a few people at Google and its kinda like the CIA over there. There are a ton of different departments and teams and many of them are unaware of whatever top-secret project some other team may be working on. I’m intrigued by all of this for a few reasons. Google has always had a reputation for revitalizing whatever industry it wants to. With Gmail, they totally changed how people think about webmail. With Google Desktop Search, they renewed the way Windows users organize and deal with their data.
Now, I know I may be preaching to the choir with some of you here and I know there are also lots of people who would disagree with me on all of this, but stay with me here: As stated in a recent New York Times article, “Google has always tried to build their [foundations] rather than buy them.” The reason I think this is important is because when companies like Microsoft try to expand their reach, they usually buy out large companies, rip out all the branding and most of the UI then basically cop and paste the code over into their own products. Microsoft does this ALOT. More than most people realize. Yahoo! has also been known for this. I know many people who don’t actually know just how many companies and products Yahoo! has its hands in. Yahoo! owns flickr, they also recently acquired Konfabulator (which has now become “Yahoo! Widgets”) among other things.
Anyways, what I’m trying to say is that Google has built a firm, solid reputation by simply making good, quality stuff. Google is supposed to be releasing a new “communications tool” in a couple days, and everyone is trying the hardest to figure out what its going to be. I’ll post my thought about it when it happens. They also just released their new “Google Desktop” package, which effectively replaces Google Desktop Search. This is a bigger step than I think a lot of people are realizing. The new Google Desktop software includes a sidebar feature that has been making some waves in the tech community. Its the first time an application of this type has been introduced by such a high-profile company. Microsoft was said to include such capabilities in its upcoming “Windows Vista.” This functionality has been removed and placed back in a number of times. The idea is that third-party developers will develop panels for this sidebar and add in tons of extra functionality. Much like widget developers have done with Apple’s Dashboard technology. Google has tried this premise before in it first incarnation of Google Desktop Search - providing an API for developers to use to create plug-ins allowing the user to search for many different types of files. The idea was mildly successful with pretty much all popular file-formats now being supported. Hopefully this whole idea will catch on and possibly open a door for would-be developers to get involved.
Also, this just in- Google Talk is likely the name of the upcoming Google “Communications Tool” the program will likely include voice-chat capabilities and likely rely on an IM backbone powered by the Jabber IM protocols. I’m hoping for something great here. Can anyone say free SkypeOut-type functionality? All I can say at this point is, Google, please don’t do us wrong. Personally, I can’t wait for this new software. It just may be the thing that convinces me to keep my main computer running windows. However, if the client runs on OSX- that’s it. I will officially give up on Windows.
That reminds me, hold your index finger and thumb up in the air. Now hold them about half-an-inch apart. That’s how close i was to installing the controversial OSx86 on my main box last night. The only reason I didn’t was that I realized how immense an operation it would be to backup all my music (almost 60 GBs) on a separate hard-drive while I did the install. I’m still toying with the idea, I’ll keep you posted. I might wait for a more thoroughly hacked version.
I’ll report back when I find out more about all this Google business. So much for shorter posts, I’ll see you all next time kids-