A Week’s A Long Time Vol. 5 (Delayed)

So, this post is three weeks late, though I guess to mention that is to suggest that anyone might have noticed. Either way, I apologise but I was busy in Sydney scoping a few things out.

Anyhoo, what’s been happening in the world of tech whilst I’ve been gallivanting about?

Another Day, Another Developer Conference

So,this week was Google’s turn to try to wow the world with its latest news, particularly seeing as Apple spent so much of its recent event essentially putting the knife into Google. What was interesting about Google’s own event, other than the fact that these things are more like movie launches than simple product demos these days (parachuting? Seriously?!), is how much Google is moving into the world of hardware.

This week saw it announce the launch of its own tablet and its own home entertainment system. Oh, and cyborg spectacles. Because what Apple has done over the last few years is shown that more money can be made through hardware (which previously was quite often a low margin sector) than in paid for software (Microsoft) or ad-funded web software (Google). And both Microsoft and Google want some of that cash to put in their own off-shore tax-havens, sorry, R&D departments.

Judging by the early reports, they may not want to start planning what they’re going to spend it on just yet.

Just Browsing

But whilst the buzz about their physical products may not have been entirely positive, there will have been a lot more happy noises made about the news that Google is launching a version of its Chrome browser for Apple’s iPhone and iPad lines. Plus, it’s also likely to be as much of a blow to Apple as it was to Google when Apple dropped their Maps.

In the space of a few years, admittedly with a large chunk of Google’s (now considerable) advertising budget behind it, Chrome has become, depending on who you ask, the first or second most popular web browser in the world. And, due to the fact that most people who use Chrome tend to want to stick with it (I have a policy of installing it on any computer I work on, even if its a shared one – it really is that much better), I would imagine that it will soon have one of, if not the, largest share of browsers on Apple products too (they already have the default browser on all Android products, which outsell Apple’s, though they don’t make as much money).

So what, you may say: browsers don’t make any money. And indeed they don’t really – Firefox is run by a charity, and essentially funded by Google, which pays handsomely to be the default search engine. But they do power the entire web, and that means that they can observe and probably track every thing that everyone accessing the web does. And in a world where the most profitable advertising company describes itself as  a ‘database of intentions’, that sort of knowledge really is power: the power to make absolutely tons of money.

So, we’ll chalk that as a score draw in the ongoing Apple Google match, though it’s likely that the penalties might be decided by a judge.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. It started badly, then got really crap but has got a lot better and should end with a bang.

This is for you Geraldine.

See you all in Heaton Park.

If you have any thoughts on these issues, or anything you’d like covered in a future digest, please do leave a comment, drop me a line on ciarannorris at gmail dot com, or tweet me.

Image: Google.

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