I, Cringely on Xbox 360 and Google Web Accelerator Strategy

PBS | I, Cringely . May 12, 2005 – Inflection Point Bob Cringley has a very interesting column this week on the XBox 360 and Google’s Web Accelerator. Two things that I have been writing about recently.

Cringley suggests that the new XBox is perhaps more PC like than many of us might have thought and that it will become a sort of defacto PC pitting Microsoft as a hardware manufacturer against their largest corporate OEM customers. I couldn’t disagree more. The XBox 360 is rather a beachhead designed to get you to upgrade your home office or den PC to a 64 bit Longhorn Media Center PC in order to get HDTV on that brand spanking new HDTV plasma that you have already bought or will buy by 2006-2007. Why sell you just an XBox, when Microsoft can sell you an XBox, a new OS, a copy of Media Center and oh yeah, maybe a few more XBoxes.

Cringley’s other main topic though is right on the mark. Google’s Web Accelerator, despite initial criticisms from naysayers, will become a meaningful tool that will allow Google to play a larger and larger role in your computing.

From his article.

“But why? Why spend all this money, make this heroic effort, just to make web surfing twice as fast? The first reason is because Google can do it. The company likes big stretches like this. The second reason is because everybody else CAN’T do it. The technology required is so breathtaking and audacious that even a Microsoft or IBM wouldn’t dare to try it and certainly Yahoo won’t. The best Yahoo can hope for is that Google fails, which they probably won’t. And the final reason for doing this is because it co-opts every ISP and web page owner. If surfing can be doubled in speed for nothing, of course nearly everyone will go for it. But that means every AOL customer becomes a de facto Google customer and this page becomes a de facto Google service that costs them nothing to produce.”

The open question of how Google will use or abuse this power remains to be seen and is still unclear. But when I combine my extensive internet surfing on all of my machines for the past 10 days I have now saved over 2 hours on broadband connections. It’s significant and it’s meaningful.

Thanks, Om!

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