October 04, 2005

OK, it's a good day to soft-launch (on impulse) a "Platform Wars" blog.

Google and Sun signed a deal

Sort of reminds you of the old IBM / Apple deal from the early 90s, innit?

So what's it about?

Good for Sun's image. Who were they again?

Google's strategy is apparently the quintessential "network is the computer" company. All the new pseudopods being thrown out are web-is-the-platform.

OpenOffice, Google have a chance to kick Microsoft where it hurts. This is a declaration of intent.

Although it's not entirely clear what Google can do for OpenOffice. Will they advertise it? Google don't advertise. Will they turn it into a web-app? Surely the future of web-apps is small and specialized. Think 37 Signals not all singing and dancing bloatware. Will they find new ways to web-enable it and turn it into a new sort of client? I don't see it. Although if MS are reorganizing the new Office as a more web-enabled and integrated package (and remember Ray Ozzie is taking over), then maybe Google and Sun are setting up OpenOffice as a comparable alternative.

Hmmm ...

Some interesting comment from Dana Gardner :

It is no longer remote of feasibility nor far-off in time and space that low-cost, high-quality, high-reliability baseline workgroup productivity applications and voice and data communications together as subscription services become available. And just in time so that CFOs can do a thorough cost-benefit analysis against next year's Vista-Office 12 "connected systems" approach rollout.

So what do the vague announcements today about the Google-Sun deal-in-motion mean? Sun gets to showcase its present and future data center and services delivery platform grid efficiencies at the premier ISV: Google. Java Runtime Environment on the desktop gets a life-sustaining shot of vitamin B-12, while OpenOffice-StarOffice might well become the R&D replacement and speed-to-market turbo-charge that Google needs to leap out front in the race to redefine the client computing-as-service experience. Make that mission-critical experience.

Now, who needs to worry most about Sun and Google making happy-face? I say it's the voice and data networks providers, the Verizons, Sprints, SBCs, BTs, MCIs, BellSouths, and France Telecoms. Because if Sun+Google=Voice and Data Efficiencies as a service stream, aka Webtone, par excellence, on a global scale, then who are you gonna call when you need business services?

And TechDirt says :

Google's got something up its sleeve. But when that announcement comes, don't expect Sun to get much mention.
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