The Open Handset Alliance, which is responsible for promoting the use of Google’s Android operating system, recently added 14 new members to its roster.
The newest additions include Vodafone (the world’s largest mobile operator), AKM Semiconductor, ARM, ASUSTek Computer, Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International, Huawei Technologies, Omron Software, Softbank Mobile, Sony Ericsson, Teleca, and Toshiba. An impressive group that’s been added onto the 34 strong that signed on when the Open Handset Alliance started a year ago.
The members of the alliance are expected to “deploy compatible Android devices, contribute significant code to the Android Open Source Project, or support the ecosystem through products and services that will accelerate the availability of Android-based devices.”
It’s expected that these additions will help grow Android’s influence on the mobile market. And goodness knows it could use the help, because Google has a long way to go before they get a significant market share.
In a bid to woo more developers towards its vernal Android platform, Google has begun offering a Sim-and hardware-unlocked G1 phone to developers. The unlocked version not only opens the floodgates for developers from around the globe, but it also presents an alternative to those US-based developers who have been resisting the retail version.
Google has confirmed the availability of the unlocked phone in 18 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Although the unlocked G1 costs only $399, developers will have to part with $25 to register themselves on the Android Market site before they can order the phone.
Google has delivered its riposte to Precursor LLC, which accused the search giant of using 21 times more internet bandwidth than it pays for in its maiden research study of U.S. Consumer Internet Usage and Cost. Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington Telecom Counsel derided Scott Cleland, the author of Precursor’s contentious report, for what it calls “payola punditry.”
He questioned the neutrality of the report given the fact Cleland’s anti-Net neutrality group – effectively against Google - is funded by telecom and cable companies. He expressly made it clear that he believes that the report was at the behest of Cleland’s paymasters.
Whitt even hung a question mark against the accuracy of the calculations upon which Cleland based his diatribe against the search giant. "Mr. Cleland's calculations about YouTube's impact are similarly flawed. Here he confuses "market share" with 'traffic share.' YouTube's share of video traffic is decidedly smaller than its market share. And typical YouTube traffic takes up far less bandwidth than downloading or streaming a movie."
But Cleland is standing his ground. He described the report as a “transparent attempt to estimate something of significance.”
Like it or not, Google is widely considered to be a leader within the technology industry. Flagship companies such as themselves, Apple, and Microsoft are important companies to watch during a market downturn. Downsizing at these multibillion dollar corporations are viewed as a devastating reminder that even the strongest companies aren’t immune to the decline. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlined several cost cutting initiatives to help keep revenue on track.
"We have to behave as though we don't know" what's going to happen, says Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. The company will curtail the "dark matter," he says, projects that "haven't really caught on" and "aren't really that exciting." He says the company is "not going to give" an engineer 20 people to work with on certain experimental projects anymore. "When the cycle comes back," he says, "we will be able to fund his brilliant vision."
Here is brief list of changes in store for the engineers at Google:
An increased focus on business diversification. They are expected to focus on display ads, mobile integration, and enterprise software.
Kill off, or slowly starve non-revenue generating products. Schmidt clarified this statement by referring to smaller projects, but hopefully money sinkholes such as YouTube won’t be affected. Some of this has already started with the death of services such as Lively.
Suspension of the 20% rule. This famous decree allowed Google engineers to spend a fifth of their time on any project of their choosing including something completely new.
Closing down offices in Dallas and Denver.
Increased workloads. With the recent pink slips handed out to over 10,000 contractors, someone has to pickup the slack and empty the trash cans.
Does trouble at Google signal the peek of our economic woes or is it just par for the course? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
Just this week Precursor LLC released their first research study of U.S. consumer Internet bandwidth usage, and as it turns out Google has been taking more than their fair share.
The company reportedly used 16.5% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. in 2008, and it’s predicted to grow to a staggering 37% in 2010. The cause of all this bandwidth use is primarily Google’s search bots, that keep tabs on virtually the entire Internet and YouTube, which is responsible for streaming almost half of the video on the Internet.
What’s more, it looks like Google is trying to skimp on the bill! According the report, “Google’s payment to fund just the U.S. consumer broadband Internet segment to be approximately $344 million in 2008 or 0.8% of U.S. consumer’s flat-rate monthly Internet access costs of $44.0 billion. Thus Google’s 16.5% share of all 2008 U.S. consumer bandwidth usage, is ~21 times greater than Google’s 0.8% share of U.S. consumer bandwidth costs – or an implicit ~$6.9 billion subsidy of Google by U.S. consumers.”
This past Thursday both Facebook and Google announced their own separate “Connect” features, designed to extend social networking capabilities further across the Internet. The connect programs, named Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect respectively allow users of the two sites to port content they have entered (such as photos, contacts, notes, comments and status updates) to other partner pages.
Google’s service is already available to any site publisher that chooses to implement it. The features become available with a simple copy and paste of some code, so advanced coding knowledge isn’t required. Once it’s been added to a site, users can log into the service using their Google, Yahoo, AOL or OpenID accounts.
Facebook is looking to their users for help in convincing web sites that their service is worthwhile. “Obviously our launch partners don't cover all the websites you use on a daily basis, so if you want to see this list grow, get in touch with your favorite websites, developers, and services, and tell them you want to connect. With your help, we can all share more information across the web,” wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
We don’t know how we’ve managed to live this long without a set of vinyl Gmail stickers for our computer. Finally, our prayers have been answered, and Google’s offering to give away these priceless keepsakes for free. Just send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the address at this page, and you’ll get back a set of Gmail stickers.
The stickers include the Gmail “mvelope” icon, a set of Gmail hotkey reminders to stick on your keyboard, and one of three (collectible!) nameplate stickers. You’d better hurry, though, because knowing the way us nerds snap up anything Google or pseudo-ironic, these suckers are probably going to go fast.
Is anyone else as excited to receive your Google stickers as we are? Let us know in the comments. And if anyone gets the unicorn faceplate, hold onto it—we’ll trade you.
A search ad deal between Yahoo and Google announced back in June might have helped dramtically change Yahoo's fortunes. The company said it would generate $800 million from the proposed deal, and $250 million to $450 million in incremental operating cash flow within the first year. Instead, Yahoo made nothing from the deal, because Google pulled out amid fears of a protracted antitrust suit.
Those fears were very much justified, as we've now learned that the U.S. Department of Justice was a mere three hours away from filing the inevitable suit, according to Sandy Litvack, the lawyer hired by the Justice Department.
"We were going to file the complaint at a certain time during the day," Litvack said in an interview with American Laywer's AmLaw Daily. "We told them we were going to file the complaint at that time of day. Three hours before, they told us they were abandoning the agreement."
It's hard to tell whether or not Google made the right decision, but from Litvack's standpoint, he admitted to being "pretty confident" in the government's case.
Those of you that use Google Desktop know it’s capable of some pretty cool things. It’ll quickly search all the information on your computer, check the weather in your location (looking outside is so 1990), and now you can even check your Gmail – all right from your desktop.
The new gadget, released just this week will allow you to read, send, search and star your email messages from your desktop. It’ll also link up with your Gmail account’s contact list and auto-complete anyone you might be trying to send email to. It should also be noted that it’ll only take up as much screen real estate as you want it to. You can resize the window to show as many or as few messages as you want.
If you’re new to Google Desktop, they’ve included this gadget in the latest download available right from Google. If you’re already a user, be sure to check out the gadgets page to download it. Either way, it’s pretty snazzy and worth checking out!
What was once a cult classic has finally hit the big-time – Mozilla’s Firefox web browser (the one that you’re possibly using right now!) has finally broken 20% market share amongst all web browsers. This move dropped Microsoft’s Internet Explorer down to roughly 70%.
Thanks to some data published by Net Applications, we’ve got some exact numbers regarding this matter. Official information for the month of November list Firefox with 20.78% of the market share, up from 19.97% in October. Internet Explorer is now holding only 69.77% of the share, with Apple’s Safari holding a respectable 6.57% and third place. Google’s fancy new flagship browser has been moving fast, hurdling over Opera’s 0.71%, with their own share of 0.83%.
If you’re one of the many that have downloaded, and use Firefox on a regular basis, good for you! I’m sure they’re grateful for the help. If you haven’t given it a whirl yet, there’s never been a better time. It’s a mighty solid platform that’s worthy of your download.