A year is a long time in technology. But this last 12 months has seen a truly crazy progression in terms of technology application and corporate direction and-. Google has become 2010 Microsoft that’s all that matters! Sorry, I needed to get that out my system (just like Chrome, because it eats memory). But if you asked my opinion (you didn’t, but you’re getting it anyway,) that’s the reality – and Satya Nadella is some kind of wizard.
From the start of 2015, we’ve seen High Enchanter Nadella lead an aligning Microsoft into becoming a progressively open, web services based company. This is stark contrast to Google, who’s currently grasping at ageing income pillars and actively neglecting the realities of the present market to focus on crazy, whacky ideas which are sadly overpromising and constantly under delivering.
Rocking the Foundations
Google’s pillars of ad revenue and PPC have become the very image of 2010 Microsoft with Windows and Office. Both pillars are being attacked at their foundations by focused social media advertising and the aggressive compartmentalisation of an increasingly app based world. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s increasingly found on your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr rather than via your Google searches, and to make matters worse, people are increasingly turning to specific apps for information and news on a topic instead of searching for it.
As a result, Adsense is in decline and Google’s search market share is at its lowest point in seven years. Just as Microsoft held on tightly to its Office/Windows duo, so Google is now clinging on to its primary revenue streams, which suggests that like Microsoft, Google’s future may be a slow decline into irrelevance if changes aren’t made – especially as Google is tripping in the same place Microsoft did and is de-prioritising Mobile.
Just as the progressive evolution of Windows slowed to a crawl once Microsoft controlled the native space of desktop PCs, so has the progression of Google’s core projects. Google seems to feel comfortable with its current place in the mobile space, and with where Android is in terms of usability. Their Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system looks fun, but was focusing on ‘Material Design’ really the best way to go – instead of working on performance, fragmentation and battery life issues? It seems Android’s ‘native’ UI is one of the first things handset manufacturers ditch.
Howling at the Moon
In a now all too familiar fashion, Google’s Nexus programme has degenerated into a horrific, disorganised waste of potential, while they have been parading its successor , ’Project Silver’, which now appears to have died in a corner somewhere. Even Google’s own mobile apps feel… unloved. To top it all off, the supposed joining of Android and Chrome OS seems to be existing in its own time space; one which moves at about one thousandth the speed of our own.
This begs the question: just where, then, is Google’s attention focused? Literally on moon shot projects, it seems. They are at the forefront of self-driving cars, internet delivery via hot air balloon (although Space X has stolen a lot of that thunder), virtual reality headsets/glasses and the much flaunted modular smartphone, not to mention the roll out of Google Fibre.
I’m all for changing-the-world style projects, but if they want to continue to A. fund those projects and B. remain a corporate entity, they need to face to some home truths:
- Chrome Browser remains the death pit for memory.
- Chrome OS has lost its direction.
- Android roll-out times have become insane.
- Google+ has failed at everything and longs for death’s sweet embrace.
If they want to stay afloat on the whimsical river of technological progression, Google need to look carefully at where they’re going, and how the other river boats have coped with the rapids -because there may be a big waterfall ahead, and it looks like Google’s boat has already sprung a leak…