For some time I have been speculating on what the next step in desktop computing will be. Most of all because I am confused by Microsoft signals compared with Googles increasing market position and ability to innovate. Microsoft doesn’t really show a Internet strategy, they adapt online services but they stay “local”. So my guess is, besides that Microsoft will appear with a new more online strategy also on their platforms, that Google within a year will be a new provider of desktop and software computing. But how will they do it?
The development in Grid computing is now very close to a launch. Using this technology will enable a very cheap hardware platform, and the software is of course provided online. Google already introduced Google Pack. More info http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/make-your-computer-just-work.html. So the next step should be obvious.
When you buy your Grid computer you will be able to get online immediately, and download your simple OS (GooglOS?). Then you are free to choose your Software provider. You will turn to Google who will provide a wide range of common used software. The Software will be a direct competitor to Microsoft, its free, install on-line, no maintenance, you no longer have to worry about updates, antivirus, backup (they store and backup your data), on-line e-learning, overall access to your documents, and I could continue. This will create a revolution on the PC market, comparing the cost and development with the mobile phone industry. Whether Google will develop their own products or determine the use of standards, to appeal to a “best of breed” mindset, is harder to predict. But why shouldn’t they have their own brand. Is a merger with Sun Microsystems and their Open Office a possibility or they will just buy up a smaller company?
The suggestions about Grid computing are that your electric power supplier should deliver bandwidth and Grid services, but my guess is that Google will take advantage of this technology.
Any way, I am looking forward to se if my guesses will come too real.
If they do I promise to be a customer!