Google Gazing

[via Dr Abhishek Puri] SquirrelNet discusses speculation about GBrowser, GooglePC, Google NetPC and Google ISP. Here is an excerpt discussing Google NetPC:

Some say Google could instead offer a NetPC (a cross between a dummy terminal and a bare bones PC where all data would be stored and served centrally at Google). Per this example of a NetPC setup, you can see that a NetPC looks like a regular PC except for there is no bulky “big box” that makes lots of noise and produces a lot of heat. Just plug the “little box” into the internet and you’re ready to go. Almost all files would be stored at Google, although a small local hard drive or flash drive would still exist locally for caching reasons.

One big advantage of NetPC’s is that you’d never need to install software since Google would provide everything that most people need (email, browsing, word processing, spreadsheets and perhaps a few other things). What about games? If Google launches the Google NetPC, expect game companies like Electronic Arts to build for-fee games directly into the Google NetPC system (housed centrally at Google).

It’s worth pointing out that the Google NetPC would be different than any NetPC on the market, since it would have millions of users. As such, Google could expand the size of the NetPC marketplace, ultimately lowering prices to perhaps $50 to $150 (from current levels of $300 to $500), including keyboard, monitor and mouse. Of course, Google could offer the Google NetPC for free in exchange for a fixed term Google ISP contract.

If these prices sound optimistic, observe how Apple’s iPod has driven down prices of miniature high-capacity hard drives. Google could do for the PC and NetPC what Apple’s iPod did for personal music players.

The Google NetPC also increases the chances of a Google-owned Google ISP. Google could choose to increase the fiber optic “fat pipe” coming out of its Mountain View headquarters. By going this route, Google could buy or build their own ISP, making a Google ISP a reality. Thus, the Google NetPC running GBrowser, the Google Web Accelerator and various other Google tools could exclude the following from the revenue equation: Microsoft, computer manufacturers and various ISPs.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.