In the past years I’ve said a lot about Google and for a good reason, they’re a very interesting company. What started out as the smart search engine that you just had to check out, now is one of the most profitable companies in the world.
When I think about what I use Google for already, it’s quite a lot. I search the web, I search my hard drive (Desktop Search on Windows), I use it for my e-mail (Gmail), I read my RSS news (Google Reader), I make money (Google Ads), I spy on my visitors (Google Analytics), I sometime look at the roof of my building (Google Earth and Google Maps) and I sometimes talk to other people (Google Talk, Gmail Talk).
And there’s lots of other stuff you could potentially do on Google. You can store your video (Google Video). You can shop (Froogle). You can advertise and sell your stuff (Google Base). You can blog (Blogger). Apparently Google also launched some kind of site editor thing including hosting, but they stopped signups only a few hours after opening because of the huge number of people wanting to give it a go.
What do all these things in common? They are all hosted services, or at least almost all. All the data is stored on Google’s servers. Everything. You’d almost start wondering why you can’t just store everything at Google’s servers and be done with it.
Heh, yeah, that would be something wouldn’t it? All your files accessible from Google. Unlimited storage; your own computer’s hard drive simply functioning as a cache. Hah, that sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?
What are you looking at?
The big presentation screen behind me? Oh sorry, didn’t see it, was too busy talking to you. Got distracted.
What does it say? Let me see.
In a world with infinite storage, bandwidth, and CPU power, here’s what we could do with consumer products —
Theme 1: Speed
Seems simple, but should not be overlooked because impact is huge. Users don’t realize how slow things are until they get something faster.
Users assume it takes time for a webpage to load, but the experience should really be instantaneous.
Gmail started to do this for webmail, but that’s just a small first step. Infinite bandwidth will make this a reality for all applications.
Theme 2: Store 100% of User Data
With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).
We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. For example: Firefox team is working on server side stored state but they want to store only URLs rather than complete web pages for storage reasons. This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.
As we move toward the “Store 100%” reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache. An important implication of this theme is that we can make your online copy more secure than it would be on your own machine.
Another important implication of this theme is that storing 100% of a user’s data makes each piece of data more valuable because it can be access across applications. For example: a user’s Orkut profile has more value when it’s accessible from Gmail (as addressbook), Lighthouse (as access lis…
Anyone want more tea?