I have been trying to grok this Sun/Google announcement, and beyond a lot of handwaving about sharing and working together, I’ve not seen much to really dig my teeth into.
Then I saw this passage in a Bloomberg story, including a quote from Eric:
At Google, Schmidt is pushing further into Microsoft’s territory. The company has moved beyond Internet search, where it leads Microsoft and Yahoo! Inc., into desktop search, allowing users to plow through all files on their PCs. About 78 million individual users visit Google sites each month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
The Google toolbar, which sits on the desktop and links users to Web sites, e-mail and other products, is a linchpin in the company’s challenge to Microsoft. Google could add “tens of millions” of customers through Sun’s downloads, Schmidt said. That will help Google “monetize” its toolbar by selling more advertising, Schmidt said.
He wouldn’t say if Google’s toolbar would link to OpenOffice.org.
Hmmm, I thought. That reminds me a search I did recently, for a GoogleWhack “Sally Girger“. I’d been meaning to post on it, but have been so busy….
The result was a blog page (had to do with my Q&A at the Guardian newspaper, never mind that….) but what I found interesting was the ad Google placed at the bottom of the page for its own Toolbar. I had been wondering how Toolbar downloads were going, given how important they are to Google’s future (it’s where all the marbles are, really, having a direct relationship with a person, a search history, a preferences set, you name it). The Toolbar, in the end, is how Google pushes out Microsoft.
Seems the push is on to get more Toolbars downloaded. And now, I see why Google is doing this Sun deal. It’s the Toolbar, of course! From the Cnet coverage:
Details about what exactly that will entail were vague at best, with the only nugget offered being that Sun, in the immediate future, will make Google’s toolbar a standard part of the package when users download Sun’s Java Runtime Environment from the server seller’s Web site.
In other words, Google really, really wants more Toolbar distribution. Watch this space.