opinion


GoogOS Mobile? Surely not

The latest on Google to come out of the industry rumour mill is a tad confusing I have to say. It makes sense that the GPhone/Google Phone isn’t actually a device – it’s hardly Google’s space – but I’m struggling to believe that it’s a full fledged operating system, even if it is supposedly based on Linux.

Although Linux is used by most of the major handset vendors, it suffers from the same problems in the mobile world as it did on the desktop – there’s just too many distributions. Adding yet another would be madness, even if they were giving it away. My money’s on some kind of Googlised user interface, which incorporates all the Google web services and some kind of ad model.

The only problem with this scenario is that Google apps are already accessible on mobiles and in some cases are already preloaded on the device, which leads me to question just what it is Google has got up its sleeve. After the launch of Blyk I’m really sceptical about the ad supported mobile model, so it will be interesting to see what these guys come up with.


3 comments

  1. Stanislav Borisov 09/10/2007 @ 10:13 pm

    By default, it’s not worth for Google to make any mobile OS, the giant is eager for applications, which are running above. I suggest this move can be not a desire but need.
    Imagine, there is very limited choice: only 2 really big platforms. First – Simbian, led by Nokia & Co. Nokia recently claimed it’s now internet company, which automatically put it as Google competitor. Experiments with navigations, content and social networking lead Nokia to even worse competition with Google. Another platfrom – MS Mobile, why should Microsoft give own “smart kid” to the biggest competitor ever.
    So, Google doesn’t have choice unless make some own efforts in OS development. Linux in a sense is “competition free”, has own adepts and looks natural choice. And great risk as well. :)

  2. Shannon McPherson 11/10/2007 @ 5:53 pm

    When you view it from the perspective that it is a simple strategy in Google’s business plan to provide all potential partners with a revenue stream of their own, it is a great marketing plan.

    Google sent an open invite directed to mobile phone manufactures when they published a set of specs for how hardware makers would build a phone based on their software. They also invited the mobile phone manufactures to splash in Google’s revenue stream.

    All facets of the advertising industry are given the opportunity to drink from this revenue stream. In addition, the revenue stream is providing necessities to social entrepreneurs that are jumping into the unknown waters of decreasing the digital divide via the use of ad-supported free mobile phone services.

    Shannon McPherson is a Bryn Mawr College student social activist that is campaigning for the use of ad-supported free cell phone and Internet services to decrease the digital divide.

  3. Stewart 12/10/2007 @ 4:38 pm

    Google are onto something really big but looking at the shape of their recent mobile acquisitions I think commentators are missing the trick – I think they are on to something else…

    I can see Google becoming a network as initially predicted but rather than owning the network portal and selling inventory to advertise on loose profiles built like Blyk, I see them allowing the user to own the portal, with their info, messages, available contacts, people nearby etc etc – Imagine your Facebook/MySpace profile as your portal homepage. This presents a much more adaptive offering to advertisers – how much would inventory be worth knowing that you can deliver a pizza ad into the hands of someone checking their personal messages on the way home from work…and what if we already know they like pizza!?

    Tracking user behaviour and optimising advertising content on location, movement patterns, interaction with other users etc is well within Google’s reach and offers a much richer proposition to advertisers than the models predicted by many. I think it would be short sighted for a company of Google’s size to step into the mobile arena without considering the fact that everyone exists and submits information about themselves on a social network in some way or another. Give the users what they want (a place to interact in a mobile environment) and give the advertisers what they need (incredibly rich targeting) The result; mobile euphoria where users don’t mind the ads they see as they are timely and relevant.

    Blyk, to me already feels like a scattergun approach and only profiles users along a handful of vectors and with Jaiku’s capabilities the door is open for Google to do something profoundly new.

    I hope to see it although I imagine they will not jump right in, maybe dip a finger in to test the water first…

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