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Thursday, May 25, 2021

a dash for the desktop
Today’s pact between Google and Dell to produce computers that will ship pre-loaded with Google’s search browser toolbar is seen mostly as a tactical victory for Google in search space: It counters Microsoft’s plans to have MSN Search as the default in the upcoming Internet Explorer 7.

But I think it lays significant groundwork for Google. Horning in on the PC desktop fulfills what I speculated was the longer-term intent behind the rollout of the Google Pack suite of Web software:

Google Pack looks less like a Windows helper and more like a start-you-up OS software suite. Suddenly, the rumors of a Google-produced bare-bones PC (since discredited) don’t sound so far-fetched. I can see Pack being a trial balloon. If it develops a large user base among Windows and Mac users, trackable by user updates, that would be enough to convince Google to go ahead and release its own PC hardware. The boxes would come running nothing but a Linux OS, and a direct Internet connection to Google Pack for making the thing actually useful.

Of course, Dell’s not about to ditch Windows for Linux. But the wheels are now greased for more pre-loaded Google-provided apps to show up on Dell machines, and the Pack programs can be positioned as highly-promotable value-added doodads. Google won’t produce the hardware, but it would “own” it in the same sense that Microsoft now does with Windows.

In particular, the Mozilla Firefox browser could get a huge user-base boost from being a continued part of the Pack package. And, as I’ve argued, existing as a pre-installed option on consumer purchases would be the only way Firefox could ever hope to seriously challenge IE’s dominance (and even that might not do it, given IE’s embedded position in the Windows OS).

This is shaping up to be the start of a computer interface experience that’s distinctly Google-branded (rather than only incidentally through minor inroads like Toolbar and Desktop Search). The battle for the desktop has begun.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/25/2006 11:22:20 PM
Category: Business, Internet, Tech
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3 Feedbacks »
  1. Google-Dell: How much does it really matter?

    Google’s deal to preinstall its software on Dell computers has us confused. Didn’t Google complain to antitrust regulators when Microsoft did something similar in promoting its own search tools with its upcoming operating system?

    Granted, the Vista operating system will be on far more computers, a dominance that Google said provides unfair leverage for …

    Trackback by Blogma — 05/26/2006 @ 07:48:33 PM

  2. GOOGLE CHROME: A BROWSER WITHOUT A HOME…

    The Mountain View Crew have gone and done it: They’re releasing their own browser, dubbed Chrome…

    It’s exciting news, especially the under-the-hood rendering techniques and overall approach to the web browser experience.

    Will it displace Microsoft’s Internet Explorer? No.

    The simple reason for that is, regardless of technical superiority, IE has a near-unassailable advantage: It’s already bundled …

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 09/01/2021 @ 09:04:03 PM

  3. GOOGLE OPERATING SYSTEM: DEAD ON ARRIVAL?…

    Fulfilling the inevitable, Google announced the development of its own custom operating system, Google Chrome OS. It’s a move that the company has been tinkering toward since 2006, when it started engaging manufacturers like Dell to preload Goog…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 07/08/2021 @ 12:14:16 PM

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