Tablets, the Enterprise and the Road Ahead: Event Summary

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-05-02 Print this article Print

Google and Its Moonshots

Alan Masarek, director of Chrome and apps at Google, pointed out several industry macro trends: The Web is becoming the winning platform. BYOD will become the norm, versus enterprise control. In a world where people are working anywhere and any time, a multi-screen world will be the norm. And, maybe unsurprisingly, Masarek expects Chrome to win out over other browsers.

Pointing out that Google had seemed crazy to be working on a browser at a time when Microsoft's Explorer was wildly popular, Masarek said, "These moonshots are really working."

He also suggested that tablets are a fit for most people. "For the bottom 90 percent, the key functionalities are email and PIM, Web surfing, media consumption, light productivity and a way to collaborate with others."

The "top 10 percent" are the biggest content creators and wouldn't dream of parting with their laptops.

Masarek acknowledged that Google has some things to work out, like fragmentation in the different versions of Android. "But it's gotten easier," he said. (Others during the event urged Google to add a security later, instead of leaving so much to manufacturers.)

But Microsoft, as it explores the tablet world with the Surface and RT, has bigger challenges on its hands. Namely, should it function like it's a platform company or a software company?

"A platform company protects its platform. So do you keep the goodies inside Windows ... or do you bring them out on iPad and Android, too?" said Masarek, clearly not envying Microsoft's position. "They're in a tough spot, but they're smart guys. They'll figure it out."

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.


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