More on Google Strategy

google on time magazine coverThe Google guys made it to the cover of Time magazine which runs an inside look at how success has changed Larry and Sergey’s dream machine:

Is there a grand strategy for Google? It seems as if you’re diving into almost everything.

SCHMIDT: We try very hard to look like we’re out of control. But in fact the company is very measured. And that’s part of our secret.

PAGE: We don’t generally talk about our strategy … because it’s strategic. I would rather have people think we’re confused than let our competitors know what we’re going to do. That’s an easy trade-off.

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Google Desktop and Gmail Updates

First of all today Google released the beta version of its Google Desktop 3.0. Besides some new important features like dragging panels out of the sidebar and place them anywhere you want on the desktop or sending content from your sidebar to others, probably the most important new one is the Search across computers one.

Important from the utility point of view as well as the privacy issues debate it will launch. That because:

In order to share your indexed files between your computers, we first copy this content to Google Desktop servers located at Google. This is necessary, for example, if one of your computers is turned off or otherwise offline when new or updated items are indexed on another of your machines. We store this data temporarily on Google Desktop servers and automatically delete older flies, and your data is never accessible by anyone doing a Google search.

Basically Google Desktop gathers all manner of data on one’s computer and makes it available via another, if the user chooses to store it on Google’s servers.

More about it here or here.

More than that Google added lately new features to its free mail service, in a try to push its IM client to mainstream. As such Gtalk chats are now integrated (along with the chat hsitory) in the webmail client. In terms of gmail too, it seems that is more than that:

Their next big move will likely be GMail for domains — a powerful way for anybody who owns a domain to utilize GMail as a mail server, not just a client.

More here.

Windows Challangers: Goobuntu and Mac OS

Mozilla Firefox has achieved an market share of over 20 percent in Europe, according to the latest figures released by French Web metrics firm XiTi and an estimated global market share of 11.5 percent. That happened in only a little over one year.

What if same trend will follow in operating systems? While until recently Firefox’s only support was the open source community, Google recently jumped in and said something like “yeah, we support Firefox browser“. It seems that this was only the beginning and Google really want to join the OS market. Recent reports confirmed that:

Google is preparing its own distribution of Linux for the desktop, in a possible bid to take on Microsoft in its core business – desktop software.

A version of the increasingly popular Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, based on Debian and the Gnome desktop, it is known internally as ‘Goobuntu’.

Uh!! That can get big, but it’s not all as there is one more piece of news that I wouldn’t even imagined one year or five ago. Recent alliance between Intel and Apple made it possible to have:

an IBM ThinkPad that dual boots Windows XP and Mac OS 10.4 (the Intellese version). It felt like I was in the twilight zone seeing the shiny Mac interface on a black IBM laptop.

Running Mac OS on non-Apple hardware isn’t Apple’s intention with 10.4, but now that it’s possible, surely a community will spring up around the possibilities – and hopefully get their hands on the necessary drivers.

Something to keep an eye on..

UPDATE: It seems that Google denies the Goobuntu rumor:

technology spokeswoman Sonya Borälv responded very quickly to my query on the topic. She said that “[w]e use Ubuntu internally but have no plans to distribute it outside of the company.”

Same thing happened with Gmail, doesn’t it?

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Delicious Year End for Yahoo!

Yahoo! is making itself an amazing Christmas present, ending the year in style. After buying flickr.com earlier this year, it seems that the next aquisition for Yahoo is del.icio.us.

That’s funny ’cause I was in a point where I was about to choose between Yahoo!’s My  Web and del.icio.us to keep my online bookmarks, but these news just make my life easier. I am really curious on how the two services will integrate and how Flickr will join.

Here is what Yahoo! blog is saying on the deal:

As Joshua writes, the del.icio.us team will soon be working in close proximity to their fraternal twin, Flickr. And just like we’ve done with Flickr, we plan to give del.icio.us the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community. Finally, don’t be surprised if you see My Web and del.icio.us borrow a few ideas from each other in the future.

More on this here, here and here.

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Monitoring Traffic Rankings

Statistici.ro, second romanian traffic monitoring site in romanian web, seems to join forces with the first player in the market, netBridge Investments’s owned trafic.ro.

Well, joining forces is a sort of saying since the old statistici.ro is still up and running while the new one is running on a new web address, http://new.statistici.ro.

The new statisici.ro, more to say, is getting the different satistics and rankings than the original trafic.ro, and finally, instead of having a unified ranking system, we now have three different ones. The mails coming from the new.statistici.ro administrators are not making any refferences to future plans regarding statistics and rankings, there only some thanks addressed to previous developer of statistici.ro, Realmedia Timisoara.

Trafic.ro statistici.ro

The design of the new site, is identical with trafic.ro website (even though way more uglyer color scheme), and there nothing mentioned on the way trafic is checked, as statistics were kind of different between the two.

Windows Safety Center Is Live

Microsoft launched the beta version of its Windows Live Safety Center which is a new, free service designed to help ensure the health of your PC. You can basically scan your PC and:

  • Check for and remove viruses
  • Learn about threats
  • Improve your PC’s performance
  • Get rid of junk on your hard disk

Use the full service scan to check everything, or turn to the scanners and information in the service centers to meet your specific needs. Internet Explorer is required to run it.

The address: http://safety.live.com/

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Top 10 Web Moments

In celebration of their 10th Year anniversary, the Webby Awards website takes a look back at 10 Web moments that changed the world. Here is the list:

  1. The Dotcom Boom and Bust (1995-2001) – Launched by Netscape’s IPO, the Boom & Bust fast-tracked the Web
  2. The Drudge Report Breaks Lewinsky Scandal (1998) – Matt Drudge Scoops one of the decade’s biggest stories
  3. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Named Time’s Man of the Year (December 1999) -1999 Was A Watershed Year for Online Commerce
  4. Elections Worldwide (2004) – Howard Dean Revolutionizes Politics
  5. September 11th (2001) -Millions of Americans Turn to the Internet for Information About the Tragedies
  6. Asian Tsunami (2005) – Citizens Journalists Are the First on the Scene to Document the Tsunami
  7. Napster Shut Down (July 2001) – Court Ruling Spurs Innovation and New Business Models
  8. Live 8 on AOL (July 2005) – Internet Coverage Of Global Concert Bests Television’s
  9. Match.com Booms (2002) – The Web Becomes the Primary Means for Making Connections
  10. SARS Virus Discovered Online (2003) – Web Plays Central Role in Research to Discover SARS Virus

Read full story here.

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Yahoo Local Maps Beta. Google Still Rules

Yahoo just launched it’s new flashy versions of maps online. Unlike Google and Microsoft maps, Yahoo has chosen to use Flash over AJAX in building its new service, and they’ve added new features that are not found anywhere else (checking the good things first).

  • because Yahoo Maps is a flash application, it avoids the need for page refreshes changes are made to the page. A simple drag and drop module on the top left lets users move around easily
  • there are multiple ways to zoom into and out of a map, including using the scroll wheel on the mouse
  • there is excellent integration wth Yahoo Local businesses..
  • they allow multipoint directions, something Google and Microsoft don’t

Well on the other side of the story, Y!Local maps should have been called Yahoo!USMaps since they only cover US so far.

Second, Yahoo!Maps lacks of beutiful satellite imagery that both its competitors put online with Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth.

Well finally, they have an Yahoo! Maps Embeddedable API, but they are limited to 50,000 queries per IP per day and to non-commercial use.

So, I have to agree with this post, that says that Yahoo’s new pretty maps are doomed (and so are Microsoft’s).

Need more proofs? Check Google Maps Mania, an interesting weblog with links to hundreds of applications of Google Maps already running out there online.

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Google Earth unleashed

Google has released its long-anticipated geographic search tool, a new application that combines local search with satellite images and maps from around the globe, shortly after integrated worldwide sattelite view in its Google Maps.

Google Earth is a standalone application that’s essentially an enhanced and upgraded version of its Keyhole 3D satellite imagery product. As Google has done with several of its past acquisitions, the company has also made the application free to all users, dropping its annual subscription fee for the basic version.

Google Earth is designed to make it easy to “fly” to aerial views to an address, zooming, tilting and rotating, business search and driving directions. When exploring a location, you can turn on various layers of mapping information such as roads, dining, parks, and lodging.

Want to know how far is the train station from your home? Click on The “Measure” tool located under the Tools menu. You can even change the units of measurement.

With Google Earth, in 38 US cities, you can see buildings in 3D from “ground up.” You can activate the “buildings” layer on the bottom navigation panel. Tilt the screen in order to see the buildings in 3D. Similarly, the terrain is also mapped in 3D, meaning you can see mountains and valleys and canyons in Google Earth.

More info on Google Earth website and also here.

Only one conclusion: impressive!