July 8, 2009 Leave a comment
Four years ago, journalist Tim Weber of the BBC asked whether the growing Google juggernaut had firm idea on where it wanted to go. After finding phenomenal success in an advertising-supported business model in search, many had began to wonder how Google could possibly sustain its growth specially in light of the softening online advertising market.
For a while, it seemed that Google was everwhere and nowhere. Google had developed or acquired a collection of products in everything from search, to webmail services, internet telephony and communications, online content aggregation and distribution, analytics, Maps, satellite images, automated alerts, online translations, specialised searches, online video and many others. While many of these services were useful and interesting, they lacked coherence and more importantly lacked a business model.
Recent announcements from the company have made its strategy for growth moving forward very clear. Just recently they have launched their own browser (Chrome), their owen mobile platform (Android), a new distributed communication and collaboration platform and protocol (Wave), online hosted apps (Google Apps), and now–even its own OS.
The company is going beyond search and online advertising company to becoming a platform company.
Where IBM was the dominant platform company at the time when centralized, monolithic computing was the norm, or where Microsoft dominated when computing shifted to the PC and the Client-Server paradigm, so now Google is positioning itself to be at the forefront as the industry again experiences a sea change in the move towards massively distributed, connected and open systems in the “Internet cloud.”
It would be interesting to see if Google becomes successful and displaces Microsoft as the alpha dog of the industry. It certainly is well positioned to do so, and would be interesting to see how the entire industry will change if this happens.