It is certain that Google intends to extend information-searching in many directions: mobile applications for wireless gadgets, more effective online shopping, and social networking are all obvious applications of its technology.
The contrast is that while Microsoft is moving up from its monopoly Windows desktop operating system to so-called Web-based services like its new SPOT watches (for smart personal objects technology), Google is moving down to confront Microsoft from its giant computing resource.
“Until now, most of our operating systems have been extensions of the desktop metaphor,” said John Seeley Brown, former director of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center. That metaphor makes less and less sense, he said, adding, “An information system that spreads over the whole globe is the way to go.”
Indeed, while much of the world has been pursuing a computer vision that is increasingly decentralized, Google is taking the opposite course – using the Internet to make its computer system, the world’s largest, available everywhere.
“Microsoft’s Windows could literally be reduced to being a window into a more interesting computing world which would take place elsewhere,” he said.
Extrapolate it further: thin clients on the desktop with centralised servers running the applications. While this may not be work in developed markets, it could be the computing platform for news users in emerging markets.