Google Has Big Plans for Google Voice, Cloud Computing in 2010
Google's Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management at Google, said Google Voice and cloud computing will be huge plays for the search engine giant in 2010. Expect the Gizmo5 assets to bolster the Google Voice phone management application. Google has been toiling in the cloud computing market for a few years now, hosting its Google Apps collaboration programs for consumers and businesses. Google will be fending off rivals Microsoft, IBM and Cisco Systems for market share in hosted applications in 2010.A Google executive said the company has only scratched the surface of what it plans to do with Google Voice, the phone management application that lets users route calls to all of their phones from one unique number. Google Voice, which includes such tools as automatic voicemail transcription, SMS support, conference calling, and low-cost international calling, is free and has more than 1.4 million users.
That pales in comparison to the nearly 500 million users Skype enjoys worldwide, but unlike that popular VOIP app, Google Voice users must have a phone carrier to use the service. However, that will change in 2010.
"We used to walk into a lot of accounts, and when I spoke to people about cloud computing there was a certain hesitancy and tentativeness about what it meant to surrender their data to the cloud. People had all kinds of concerns, all of them valid. We saw that dissipate over the course of 2009 and it's partly generational. People that grew up on the Internet have fewer concerns about what it means to entrust a server with their content. It's no longer a question of whether or not this is happening. It is happening and now we need to solve the hard problems together and I think that's what we have to look forward to in 2010, rolling up our sleeves and continuing to establish to the trust relationship we have with our users."Google took several steps to cultivate user trust in 2009, unveiling the Data Liberation Front to let users export the data created within users' Google Apps to apps outside Google's purview. Google also launched the Google Dashboard to let users see exactly how much data they were creating within Google to host. Horowitz said such trust-taking measures will pay off. What makes for a winning cloud computing formula in 2010 and beyond? Speed and availability, which are not coincidentally the top two traits of Google's world-leading search engine, he said.
"We want to build the cloud in such a way that it's got all of the qualities you would want. You want it to be blazingly fast. You want it to be accessible wherever you are on the planet within milliseconds. You want it to be accessible on whatever device you happen to be at, whether that's an enormous big-screen monitor, or whether something the size of a wristwatch. You want it to be transparent and flow across services and devices without you having to think about or program it."Google isn't the only company with cloud inclinations. IBM, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and a slew of other rivals plan to accelerate their cloud computing strategies in 2010.
These companies have considerable financial and computing resources, which means they will push each other and cloud computing market leader Google. This is good news for customers, who will benefit from more choices, as well as the vendors vying for their business.