free html hit counter The Google Cube/PC/Big Iron/Digital Fantasy Train - John Battelle's Search Blog

The Google Cube/PC/Big Iron/Digital Fantasy Train

By - January 03, 2006

GoogcubeMany readers have asked me – “Hey John, why so silent on the rumors that Google might 1/create a parallel Internet using portable containers and massive bandwidth (see Cringely here) and 2/connect them to cheap and powerful “Google Cubes” that do everything we wish Apple, Dell, and Tivo would do but for some reason are not?” (see more Cringely, Cnet, and the LA Times).

The simple reason: I find both hard to buy. Really hard to buy. Why? Well, it’s not like Apple, Dell, and tons of others don’t want to make the same thing (the cube, anyway), and it’s not like they haven’t thought it through. I know, I know, plenty of folks were playing in search when Google came along….so… I’ll keep watching, and thinking, but….well, it feels a bit like our the Google Rorschach effect at work….for now.

Update: Google has denied the PC angle, in any case.

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7 thoughts on “The Google Cube/PC/Big Iron/Digital Fantasy Train

  1. Brad says:

    I talked to some guys at yahoo about the possibility of creating the massive super computers in shipping crates and shipping them around the country to random spaces. I received the answer that the power Cringley was talking about could not physically be cooled. However, they’d be sure fun to make smores with.

  2. Brad says:

    Secondly, why would Google move into computer manufacturing and distribution the margins and return on invested capital suck. I pray the guys over at Google aren’t trying to get into hardware.

  3. Glen says:

    If they aren’t building a Google plex mesh, then how exactly are they planning to spend $800 million in capex next year? There’s got to be a grand plan for this capital. It makes no sense in the world to “buy forward” search computing capacity given Moore’s Law. They’ve got to have a set of applications that they’re planning to roll out. Why is Google spending more than 2X Yahoo’s capex in 2006? They’ve got to be planning on getting a return on the capital being deployed.

  4. John K says:

    Glen makes good points. Google is spending that money on something besides massage chairs, lava lamps and 24″ widescreen LCDs.

    I don’t think the Google cube thing makes a lot of sense, but I’m pretty stunned that John B. doesn’t buy the portable datacenter mesh that I jokingly refer to as skynet.

    See my blog post on the skeptics of this rumor

  5. Joe Hunkins says:

    I think this proves you are smarter than Cringlely. Just don’t tell his mom.

  6. Glen says:

    What Cringely didn’t say is that there are huge frezers at the end of the shipping container. How the heck do you think that they ship frozen fish? Frozen blade servers any one?

  7. Andrew S says:

    Datacenter hardware is overrated. The cost of all of Google’s hardware and hosting costs are insignificant compared to their advertising profits.