CyberTech Rambler

January 12, 2006

Google Video Service and Google Pack

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 5:42 pm

The much anticipated Google keynote speech at the Consumer Electronic Show did not deliver the VOW factor. However, if one look at the concepts behind the new Google Pack and Google Video Service, one can see some potential revamp of the computing landscape, something Google is really good at.

Google Pack, at the very least, have the potential to revolutionize how softwares are delivered and maintained. The central concept is to have a Trusted Party, Google in this case, to manage your software for you remotely. Microsoft, Linux and Unix’s can learn a lot from Google Pack. If Google manage to deliver as it has done with GMail, a fresh rethink of how software are maintained is inevitable.

With Google Video Service, Google is trying to build a market place for video. It stand out from other video stores in the sense that it allows almost everyone to trade in video, thus democratise video trading by giving an outlet to small producer. With the flexible pricing, it represents the best way to allow real market dynamics such as supply-and-demand forces to work its magic. However, it looks like a bazaar for video content. More accurately, a online Blockbuster that also sell video or another Amazon Video Store (sell videos, but also rent them out). This can be prove to be a fatal flow because it fails to standout from Blockbuster or Amazon. Most importantly, it means punters do not feel that they can get quality products from it.

I had a look at Google Video Store. I must say I am disappointed. The layout fails the high Google standard that I have come to expect, i.e., something that stand out from the rest, very clear and simple to use. Content-wise it is seriously short of it. Google should had call it “Video Stall Alpha”.

As for Google Media Player and Google Digital Right Management, I think the biggest archilles heel is the need to remain online to play DRM-protected content. It will be a great handicap for consumption of the content by consumer. Except for Live Events or News Bulletins, there is no real need to stay online to consume the content. An overwhelming amount of video content out there are pre-recorded content and therefore, staying online in order for the content to be “streamed” to you does not make much sense, especially if you view the content repeatedly. Here, I think Google had made a backward step.

Seeing the way Larry Page handle himself during the presentation, he should had practice more. He looks like a student who is ill-prepared for a presentation. The Google team should be sent to presentation boot camp to relearn how to present a corporate presentation.

A lot of commentators forgotten that Google is rather unproven when it comes to selling products (video) to the general public or managing software for the masses. Google Video Stall Alpha is not a good start and Google Pack does not manage all the software an average Joe Consumer needs on their computers. Other Google offerings that have the degradetory “Beta” attached to them are much better then these two final products.

In my opinion, Google rushed the Video Stall and Google Pack out and it shows. Why did Google decides to do this, I do not know. May be it is feeling the business pressure.

Overall, this reinforce my impression of Google is that it is a technologically very capable and skilled company, and one that have a lot of innovative concepts. From a business point-of-view, it still have a lot to learn.

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