TECH TALK: Good Books: The Google Legacy

For those wanting more on Google’s possible gameplan, John Battelle’s The Search is just an appetiser. The real meal comes in the form of an e-book by Stephen E. Arnold entitled The Google Legacy: How Google’s Internet Search is Transforming Application Software. The e-book, at $180, is not cheap. But it provides excellent insights into the technology platform that Google has built and how it is likely to be used in the future to deliver a wide range of virtual applications.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction on Arnold’s site:

What kind of company is Google? The world mostly knows this high-flying, publicly traded West Coast company as the upstart that revolutionised search.
Wrong, says Stephen Arnold in this new ebook: Google is much more. New, radical and overlooked, Google is this era’s transformational computing platform and could be about to unseat Microsoft from its throne.

Google is not just about search: search is merely one application you can load on its processor. Although Google has been releasing a series of separate application programs, the company is starting to assemble the mosaic pieces into a bigger picture. Its future will be about leveraging its innovative hardware/software infrastructure. In so doing, just as Microsoft replaced IBM, Google promises to replace Microsoft as Network Computing comes of age.
Written for business readers, especially senior executives of mid to large-sized, knowledge-based corporations, The Google Legacy places Google under a microscope, dissects Google’s technology, evaluates its potential and determines that Google’s future lies beyond search. Three appendices provide lists of Google patents, publishers who have indicated some type of relationship with Google, and universities working with Google-information that, according to the author, Google has sought to keep under wraps.

Information Week wrote recently:

Dig deeper into Google, dig into its software and engineering patents and youll find a roadmap for its future, says an author and online systems specialist, who believes the patents also spell bad news for Microsoft if the tech world moves to a new Google-dominated network paradigm.

Google really doesnt hide things, said Stephen E. Arnold, who has written a book on his one-year odyssey studying the search firm. Bill Gates is basically in the same spot he had IBM in. IBM was challenged by Microsoft and IBM didnt understand Microsofts business model. Its history repeating itself.

Arnold, author of The Google Legacy, said in an interview, that it appears that Microsoft doesnt understand Google in much the same way that IBM didnt understand Microsoft 20 years ago. It will be the Googleplex from 2004 to 2020 a network paradigm, said Arnold. It will be enabled by Googles approach to innovation.

These patents suggest that Google is looking beyond search, possibly targeting such companies as Microsoft, as Google tries to become the leading info tech company of the 21st Century, he said.

In my view, Stephen Arnold’s book is a fascinating glimpse into the ‘technological wonder’ of our times.

Tomorrow: Capitalism at the Crossroads

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.