Zittrain, a proponent of cloud computing and open software systems, warmed up the crowd.
Amit Singh Discusses Google Apps for Business
Amit Singh, vice president of Google Enterprise, followed Zittrain. Singh announced Google Apps for Business would get complete 24/7 phone support going forward.
State of Google Apps
Singh touts Google Apps, which is used by more than 4 million businesses (but only hundreds of thousands are paying customers). That could be as low as 200,000 customers. Singh also said Google is luring "thousands of customers" each day from Microsoft, whose CEO Steve Ballmer said the software giant is winning against Google. What else would you expect at Atmosphere but a few competitive jabs?
Here is a partial list of Google Apps customers, most of whom are in Silicon Valley. Google also recently added Burberry, Casio, Equinox Fitness, Goodyear, Guardian Life Insurance, Logitech, New Yorks Museum of Modern Art, Raleys, Softbank and Trinity Mirror, said Singh.
Vint Cerf, a founding father of the Internet's TCP/IP protocol, offered a wide-ranging conversation about Web security and the Web of Things. He has Internet-enabled light bulbs powered by a full IP6 sensor network running in his house 24/7 to moderate temperature, humidity and light levels.
A former Apple employee from the company's dark years, Girouard has led Google's cloud collaboration effort for the last several years.
His vision for Google Apps' future is that it be "people-centric."
Google+, Google Apps Cross Pollination
Accordingly, Google is injecting facets of Google+ into Google Apps to make it more social. Think of a rival to Salesforce.com's Chatter or Jive and IBM social solutions for businesses.
Mobile Device Management
Mostly, Girouard's presentation was a boast-fest. He did announce two bits of news. First, he revealed that Google Apps for Business, Government and Education users can receive mobile device management at no extra charge. This means businesses of all sizes can manage Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps control panel, with no additional hardware or software to install.
Big Query Service
Girouard also said Big Query Service for large-scale data analytics now includes a graphical user interface that lets analysts and developers tap into a big bank of data with a Web app.
Rajen Sheth, who helped set up Google Apps, discussed his new mission-evangelizing on Chrome operating system for businesses. Everyone at Atmosphere got a Chromebook—free.