Archive for the ‘Google’ tag
Google I/O 2012 kicks off in a few days, and given that more than a year has passed since the last Google developer’s gathering, I thought I’d take a minute to look back at all of the 2011 broken promises. Here’s my list of letdowns.
5. Google TV – It’s easy to pick on Google TV. I mean, the Logitech Revue sold so badly that it cost the CEO of the company his job. Promises were made, and those promises fell flat. But at Google I/O 2011 there was lots of talk about Google TV. The Honeycomb 3.1 update that didn’t happen until the end of the year was really just the beginning. After all the talk about bringing new apps to the Google TV, and bringing new hardware to the consumer Google TV is sitting right where it was more than a year ago.
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I just love reading the missives surrounding the whole Android patent mess that Google not only allowed to happen, but they seemingly encouraged. There were a lot of things that Google could have done to prevent this mess from being such an issue, they just didn’t.
Way back in 2005 when Google bought Android they could have dedicated a floor in the Android building to patent lawyers. You know, the kind that put a unique spin on the plainly obvious and file for a patent. They didn’t. They could have bought up some IP from trolls, small companies and other inventors. They didn’t. Hell, they could have licensed patents from others. Again, they didn’t. There was also the route that they took; do absolutely nothing.
For sure, Google’s inattention to Android IP issues created a mine field for device manufacturers. HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Barnes & Noble and even Google themselves are all being sued, being threatened with a lawsuit or have already entered into various licensing agreements with the likes of Microsoft and others to cover the Android technology in the phones that they sell. As an Android user do I like the fact that the vendors surrounding my phone OS of choice have to pay royalties to the likes of Microsoft to sell me my phone? No, I don’t like it. In fact, I hate it, but patent royalties have absolutely no impact on my life, my daily usage of my phone or my investments, so I ignore it.
Apple’s recently announced iCloud service is a clear response to the loosely organized but very widely used Google cloud assortment. If you look, Apple seems to have all of the major Google bases covered. There’s mail, calendar, contacts, documents and music to go along with App Store and iTunes Music Store history.
It’s a well rounded product from what can be seen and used today, and it was very convenient to download all of the iTunes purchases that I had mistakenly deleted over the years. But is it just a Google vs Apple, head-to-head thing? Oh no, don’t confuse it for that. The cloud is a shared vision between the two companies, but the approach and intent couldn’t be more opposite.
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I wasn’t chosen to get a ChromeOS Netbook, though I wanted one badly. Instead, Google chose to send them to no fewer than nine people that I found in my area that promptly put them up for sale on Craigslist. Me? The one that wanted to actually use it? No. Nine who wanted to sell them on Craigslist for a profit? Sure, those guys got one.
There. I’m over it now.
In the absence of a proper ChromeBook I’ve been using my white MacBook like a ChromeOS netbook. As much as possible I’ve used only web based services in Chrome and I really like my results. I’ve transformed my work, and a good bit of my life to cloud only.
I’ve got GB’s worth of music on Amazon Cloud Drive (until Google gets it in gear), all of my documents and spreadsheets are in Google Docs and I’ve gone back to using Gmail only in the browser. I’m even using Picnik for my light image editing. In every way possible I’ve replaced my Macbook Pro and Ubuntu desktop work with a ChromeOS like experience in my MacBook.
In short, I’m ready to roll. I really like the way that things are working for me, and the bare bones features in Google Docs have actually made me more productive. I didn’t get in on the ChromeOS netbook giveaway but I will buy one as soon as they come out. I would also do the monthly fee if Google goes that route as rumored.
There are things that just wouldn’t work for me on a ChromeOS Netbook, but so many things that would. I’m a buyer.
I just hope it has a light up, colored Google logo on the back of the screen. That would be cool.
If this deal happens it simply must be a purchase and not a contract. Google cannot have what would be one of the featured Android services controlled by a third-party and by nature available for sale to someone else.
At the time of the buyout by Apple, LaLa provided the featured content for the failed Google Music OneBox product. It really isn’t much of a leap to assume that one of the things that made LaLa attractive to Apple was scuttling this Google service. Google Music OneBox was growing in popularity and assumptions were made that Google wanted LaLa for themselves if they could work out a deal that allowed LaLa’s licenses with the labels to survive a buyout. Apple had no interest in LaLa’s licensing deals as they never intended to maintain LaLa’s business as a separate product.
Now, back to Spotify for a minute. Let’s say that Google announces their cloud music strategy and the logo says “powered by Spotify” down in the corner. Would it not make total sense for Apple or Amazon to call the Spotify people up and offer more billions than can be declined to buy Spotify out and shut it down?
Spotify would have a contract with Google but either Apple or Amazon would see the cost to buy Spotify and settle a breach of contract claim from Google as money well spent if it totally derailed Google music.
I’m aware that a buyout of Spotify would hinge on the deals that are signed with the labels. If a sale voids the licenses that Spotify has to stream music then a buyout won’t happen. Then again, if a buyout voids the licenses that Spotify holds to stream music this would only increase the danger of another company like Amazon, Apple or even Microsoft strolling in and cutting a deal to buy Spotify.
Given that Google was very close to a $1 billion deal last year it is reasonable to assume that those licenses would survive a buyout. Google doesn’t need Spotify’s streaming media technology, they could easily create their own storage and streaming solution.
This cannot be a handshake deal with Spotify, there are too many big name, deep pocket companies that would love nothing more than to stab Google in the chest on Google Music launch day. Google must own whatever technology is used to power Google cloud music.
There are rumors making the rounds that Google is once again trying to acquire Spotify to power its online music product. I can’t even keep count of the number of times Google has been rumored to be chasing after Spotify, is this the third time?
It almost did happen last year with a rumored purchase price of $1 billion but infighting at Google killed the deal. It seemed that there were multiple groups inside the plex that each wanted to control the product and put their own spin on the outcome.
The current version of this rumor has Google wanting to either buy Spotify or enter into an agreement for Spotify to power the Google Music service. Partnering with Spotify is not the answer here. Google either needs to buy Spotify or choke it down with the music labels.
Amazon’s Cloud Player is available right now. Apple’s cloud music product is coming very, very soon. Time is up and Google needs to have an actual plan for a real release for the product that the announced and showed at Google I/O last year.
Source: Business Insider