Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Apple, Google and a few million 'jobless' techies

I use 'jobless' here in the typical way most people from Bangalore or thereabouts use it - someone who is 'vela' or has nothing better to do.

Tech forums like Slashdot, and respected tech columnists from all major news portals have nothing better to do, but follow Google and Apple like fanatics.

Google recruiting fiber/backbone specialists? Maybe they are entering VoIP. Apple will enter the Video-On-Demand business next, since the Mini is their answer to the Media Center PC. The iPod Video is definitely next on the agenda. Google hired Firefox's leading developer? Get ready for GBrowser. Google hired Rob Pike, one of the original UNIX team from AT&T? Get ready for the Google OS.

Give me a break. Apple is secretive enough to shame the CIA. The only speculation from last year that worked was the flash-based iPod shuffle. This was based on real information that Apple was lapping up flash memory in semiconductor markets in Taiwan and elsewhere. The Mini of course was subject to a leak, and no smart guessing helped with that.

If just hiring a person with great programming, design and engineering skills causes a splash, it's extremely tiring. Of course Google registered GBrowser. They don't want someone squatting and causing them a copyright headache later that they pay thousands of dollars in lawyeer fees to settle. A few dollars a year to VeriSign takes care of the domain for them. Maybe they will come out with a browser. Doesn't make sense to me, but then I thought that 1 Gig of email space was a hoax.

This quote in the NYT left me reeling.

"Yahoo says, 'Where is the mountain? Let's climb it,' " Mr. Sullivan said. "Google says, 'Maybe we want to go up the mountain and maybe we want to go surfing.' "

Like Google got to be the biggest thing in search by employing surfer dudes with a bad attitude. They've surprised the market and upped the ante once in the past year with e-mail, prompting the storage glut we have now. They recently doubled the number of pages they serve, and are probably working on a bajillion different things right now, but just keeping it quiet. They managed an extremely complicated IPO recently, and more people, not less seem to be using AdSense every day.

I'm happy Yahoo and MSN are working on search, as we need more and more innovation, and it would be great to have more and better search options. But stop hounding Google. They are too busy working hard and having fun to really care.

And yes, I am waiting for the next big thing from Google to shake up the market too. Only, I am not speculating what it would be.

Update: I wrote this yesterday, but put off posting it. Google obliged: They are now a domain registrar, and they plan to give stock as reward to their best employees. Of course, they had to announce record results too.

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