Excerpts from Kottke:
They have this huge map of the Web and are aware of how people move around in the virtual space it represents. They have the perfect place to store this map (one of the world’s largest computers that’s all but incapable of crashing). And they are clever at reading this map. Google knows what people write about, what they search for, what they shop for, they know who wants to advertise and how effective those advertisements are, and they’re about to know how we communicate with friends and loved ones. What can they do with all that? Just about anything that collection of Ph.Ds can dream up.
Tim O’Reilly has talked about various bits from the Web morphing into “the emergent Internet operating system”; the small pieces loosely joining, if you will. Google seems to be heading there already, all by themselves. By building and then joining a bunch of the small pieces by themselves, Google can take full advantage of the economies of scale and avoid the difficulties of interop.
Google isn’t worried about Yahoo! or Microsoft’s search efforts…although the media’s focus on that is probably to their advantage. Their real target is Windows. ….
After all, even if you do have a great way to search through desktop-based e-mail, you might like the idea that all your mail is backed up, stored offsite, and easily searchable from anywhere.
Now, take things a step further. Imagine next year Google provides users with 5, 10, or more gigabytes storage space for personal files.
Got a ton of text documents, spreadsheets, and other material? Push it to us, Google would say. We’ll store it, index it, and make it easy to retrieve what you want. Google already indexes this type of material across the Web and has done so for ages.
As broadband expands, such an idea becomes increasingly more feasible. With it, the notion that Microsoft might trump Google with desktop lock-in becomes less of an issue.
As I’ve muttered privately more than a few times, and have begun to shout to anyone who will listen now that I’m writing in Word – if Google could do to Word what it intends to do to Entourage, well, that would sell me. F*cking Word…..