Here's my take on the Google keynote: it was ok, Larry Page shouldn't be let out in public, these guys are some serious geeks and Robin Williams is amazing
So there was massive anticipation of the Google Keynote. The line was long, people were in overflow. Everyone wanted to know what they would release next: an operating system, a mobile phone, free Wi-Fi for all the world's children, a toaster/search engine, a bag of dog food?
Actually, thanks to the Wall Street Journal scoop, there wasn't too much in the way of surprises. But before I get there, let's talk about the pre-product announcement part.
So co-founder Larry Page rolled out onto the stage riding on the back of a robotic car. This is a car that Stanford built. It's the first one to win the Darpa Challenge, a race through the desert of robotic cars. Would google announce its own Robotic car? Did its search engine somehow help Stanley avoid desert ditches? No and no. Larry was just proud of his fellow Stanford geeks and thought he'd give them the world's biggest shout out. That's some ghetto ish right there. Geek-ghetto.
Then does Larry get to the point, maybe describe the market like every other keynote speaker. "Consumers want things!!!"
He rants. He bitches. He moans. And he lectures an audience of industry press, analysts and leaders on open standards. He argued for a standard power adapter, so we don't have to have all these different size power bricks and cables. He ranted about networking devices, about why I can't plug my USB-enabled camera into my USB-enabled hard drive and move the photos off. Why do I need a big ol' computer in between them? Why can't my bluetooth cell phone start my bluetooth car?
And did he read off his nice teleprompter that all other keynotes relied on? No. He shuffled back and forth across the massive stage, wearing his google lab coat and reading from a stack of papers in his hands. The man who is essentially leader of the free (Internet) world, whose company "organizes the worlds information" and has the largest distributed computer network ever assembled, reads paper notes in front of a crowd.
All I can say is, you go boy. Google is always buckin the system. They did it with their IPO, they did it with their initial search engine, and they even did it with their CES keynote. But now for the products
- a collection of software we all need to maintain our computers, including antivirus, web browser, photo organizer and more. Available at pack.google.com
- all this software would take a while for a user to find and download. Google puts it in one download
- the download itself makes sure not to consume all your internet bandwidth, and the programs start installing themselves as soon as they've arrived
- all the software keeps itself up to date automatically
- this is the company's instant messageing and voice chat program
- announced interoperability with AOL instant messenger and partnerships with lots of ISPs
- this is the desktop application version of Google Maps which allows for flyovers and much better control
- there's now a Mac version
- Google is working with VW to embed this in their car GPS systems
Google Video Store
- people who upload their videos to google now have the ability to sell them for as little as 5 cent
- google announced partnerships with lots of folks including the Charlie Rose show, Fashion TV
- oh yeah, and CBS. how could i forget
So now we have NBC and ABC in iTunes, CBS with Google and Fox I don't know where yet.
Larry Page is a bad speaker, and the announcements were already known, but Google still had the best keynote, because they brought out Robin Williams. He messed around a lot and actually moderated teh Q&A. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, bucking another trend, Google offered time for Q&A with the audience. Robin Williams actually did a great job moderating. Not only was he funny, but he clearly understood what he was talking about.
Hooray for Google.
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Overall, I still think we should all be afraid of Google. Even though these announcements didn't reveal them as the Anti-Christ, that company has too much money and too many smart people employed. They can't help but build a death star.