Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Yes, Google is trying to take over the world. - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine

Timely reality check; read the full article

Now, with its recently announced plans to enter wireless communications, Google is making its deepest foray yet into a foreign territory where its allies are few. It faces the challenge of not just entering the wireless world but also converting its inhabitants. Provided that Google has the nerve and resources to try to remake wireless in its image, it'll either prove its greatest triumph or its Waterloo.

[...]

If that sounds abstract, we can make it more concrete. Over the coming years we can expect the Bell system to do everything in its power to destroy or subjugate Google. That's what history suggests; for since 1894 or so, the Bell system has swallowed or eliminated almost all of its would-be rivals. As one historian writes, in the early 1900s Bell would bankrupt competitors, and then "in truly medieval fashion, pile the instruments in the street and burn them, as a horrible example for the future."

On a related note, today in the WSJ, in an article titled "Web War III?"; an excerpt:

Google is worried about what you'll see on your tiny cell phone screen someday -- it might not be Google! The much awaited Android software package was the search giant's way of trying to establish in the mobile wireless world the enviable position it enjoys in the fixed Internet world.

Maybe instead of looking ahead to wireless, it should be looking over its shoulder and worrying more about what you'll see on your giant HDTV. Get ready for a free-for-all around the idea of convergence of, loosely, TV and the Internet. Players angling for advantage are too many to count, from Microsoft to Babelgum. But we wouldn't overlook the telephone companies, Verizon and AT&T, who just happen to be Google's nemeses in the wireless world war too.

Yes, Google is trying to take over the world. - By Tim Wu - Slate Magazine

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