One of the downsides of going to developer conferences is that it takes a whole week out of your schedule, a week that I can’t afford because this is one of the busiest times of the year (for conferences too). The upside is that you get to glimpse into the future and what it holds for us. Google I/O Conference this past week in San Francisco is no exception.
This year’s conference was highlighted by (a) the rapid maturity of Google App Engine (aka Google Cloud), (b) version 2.2 of Android (called Froyo), and (c) Google TV. And these subjects are all connected, both figuratively and physically. It was also highlighted by the fact that it put Apple and Microsoft to shame, Apple with Google TV and Microsoft because Android is what Microsoft’s mobile strategy should have been and now it is highly likely that they have missed the boat forever.
Keynote Day 1 Video
Google App Engine and Google Cloud is indeed maturing rapidly. This week they announced Google Apps for Business. This is the ability to build and deploy web apps specifically designed for business on Google Cloud and sell through Google Store. There are two main issues that they have tackled for businesses to use Google Cloud and they address both of them. Firstly a consistent and repeatable development environment to design build and deploy. They showed some amazing tools in the RAD area along with code management and deployment. The second is manageability and scalability and they showed a number of tools from themselves and partners VMWare (Spring Source) that are essential to manage and measure applications. Day 1 was also HTML5 day, open sourcing of WebM codecs and many other pieces necessary to make Google’s vision a reality.
Keynote Day 2 Video
Day two was all about Google Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Google TV. If you think about it, day 1 was about the back end, and day 2 was about the front end, the client (ish).
As I suggest, the level of maturity of Android OS puts everyone else (bar Apple) to shame. Much of the presentation was on the performance of the browser and graphics through the Just in time Java compiler, flash support and a hugh number of new features, both for the user to enjoy and the developer to develop.
Google TV is true to it’s word and is the most important step forward in the television set since Cable TV itself. However this must give Cable operators sleepless nights. Cable Monopolies are based on the customers in ability to go anywhere else (other than Satellite, but that is just cable in another form). IP TV is something completely different, it is the ability to consume huge amounts of online video. It has the potential to drive down the value of cable franchises considerably 10 years from now.
However the biggest threat that Google displayed this week is not to Apple even though there was plenty of Apple poking at the conference. Google was showing developers that the path to enlightenment was with them, not with Microsoft. While Microsoft keeps selling vanilla ice-cream, Google was showing strawberry ripple, and double fudge sundaes. However the trick is to quickly show developers they can monetize their efforts. Google took pains to discuss how adsense made sense over the boutique mobile ad platforms.
This is an early salvo in the mobile client wars and Apple and Google have a big head start over Microsoft. Until Microsoft can get Windows Mobile 7 and it’s mobile eco-system up and running, they are armed with a fruit knife at a gunfight.
Cistera Network is a leading provider of Enterprise Application Platforms for unified communications. Here you can learn about the unified communications and Cistera in particular.