Google on Amazon, Apple, Microsoft: Napalm
Written by: Anton Wahlman, Contributor
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PDK: Google plans to release its Platform Development Kit for Android to hardware makers (and software modifiers) well in advance of any new major Android operating system release. This is related to things such as drivers, which may sound boring but has been the key reason for delays in launches of Android devices as well as upgrades to old ones. This is a huge step forward for Android, meaningfully improving the competitive landscape against Apple and Microsoft -- and yet it got almost zero attention in the media.
Google NOW: Part of the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google NOW is a new predictive engine that anticipates what you need or should know based on where you are, where you're going and your past habits. It tells you proactively when to leave for your next meeting, when and where the nearest buses are departing, restaurants around you and so forth. It will learn your behavior over time and refine itself infinitely. A huge winner against Apple and Microsoft.
Chrome OS: Available today from Samsung in desktop and laptop form factors -- see my review from June 4 -- Chrome OS devices will now finally be marketed in retail locations, starting with Best Buy(BBY) . Google also confirmed that many more Chromebooks and Chromeboxes from other device makers should be expected to arrive soon, and I interpreted that to mean by November at the latest.
Nexus Q: This is a multimedia player connecting directly to speakers or to an existing home entertainment system. It competes with some combination of privately held Sonos, as well as Roku and Apple TV.
Suffice it to say that I don't see that it offers any meaningful advantage over the competition that makes me want to pay $300 for it. Unless it obtains a software upgrade that dramatically improves the value proposition, it will fail.
Cloud Computing: This is the "Big Kahuna" of Google's sweet spot in the emerging technologies, and it appears to be launching major broadsides against companies such as Amazon and Microsoft in particular. Instead of purchasing and installing local apps on your devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, whatever), Google just executes these instructions in the cloud without any of the relative cost or hassle.
I can't emphasize Google's cloud computing efforts enough. Many companies including Microsoft, Apple and Amazon should be running scared.
This worries me as a shareholder.