The Google-Apple Cloud Theory

by Sachin Balagopalan on October 18, 2007 · 1 comment

Interesting post by Nick Carr today where he opines and speculates on the future of personal computing. Even more interesting is the interview Eric Schmidt gave Wired earlier this year where the main focus was on Google’s vision on cloud computing. GigaOM also does a pretty good job breaking this down. I like the idea of supercomputers or the “Cloud Computer” where all your services and data will reside on flash drives independent of your device.

ERIC SCHMIDT: It’s pretty clear that there’s an architectural shift going on. These occur every 10 or 20 years. The previous architecture was a proprietary network with PC clients called client-server computing. With this new architecture you’re always online; every device can see every application; and the applications are stored in the cloud. It means that your servers are professionally managed, so you can actually have a weekend and not spend all your time trying to manage your servers. It’s like having banks manage your money rather than you managing your money. And the networks have become secure, and the computers have become fast enough that this is mechanically possible - it actually works.

It’s pretty interesting he calls it an architectural shift :) . I think it’s more of an architectural “rehash” if you ask me. It was not so long ago we had a similar sort of “architecture”… remember those mainframes/minis and the big old dumb terminals. Well of course it’s really not the same but the concept is anyway. The whole idea of professionally managed data centers is totally appealing - no more maintaining servers and backups and quite frankly the IT department is no longer needed except for networking services.

Google’s architectural model around broadband and services and so forth plays very well to the powerful devices and services Apple is doing. We’re a perfect back end to the problems that they’re trying to solve. And they have very good judgment on user interface and people. They don’t have this supercomputer I’m talking about, which is the data centers. What they have is a manufacturing business that’s doing quite well. And the obvious example is the iPhone, which they announced has in it Google Maps.

So the whole idea of Google and Apple ruling the computing world is not too far fetched assuming there is some semblance of synergy between the two organizations. “IPod - Powered by Google” sure has a nice ring to it :) . As connectivity becomes ubiquitous there is not going to be a need for us to carry these “fat” devices around. Also at some point we are going to have to make the distinction between business computing and consumer computing. Today the iPhone and iPod touch are essentially “toys”. I predict eventually there will be some sort of morphing or marriage where these toys will be become business tools. Apple today announced the long awaited SDK will be available in February 2008. This may be the beginning of that transition. I don’t think as Nick suggests, that somewhere in Silicon Valley Google and Apple engineers are feverishly working on this “partnership”. I think if there were to be some kind of marriage it will be totally organic where Apple is going to need some “hard core” computing power to go where they want to and Google will just happen to be there with the back-end solutions they are looking for. Lets face it, after the search engine Google has not been the innovator that everyone claims it is. I mean they bought a bunch of startups and repackaged them as “beta” but that’s not innovation - it’s opportunism. Apple on the other hand is a manufacturing business with some cool products. They can continue to enhance the user experience on their products but sooner or later they are going to need some serious muscle to support their enhancements and they are going to need a company like Google to provide that muscle. So on the surface it looks like it could be a match made in heaven.

In any case if a partnership is imminent I think we will see that happen only after the next version of the iPhone is shipped whenever that may be.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ADSL Viettel 12.02.09 at 9:27 am

Thanks man, just what I was looking for. Thanks so much…

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