In keeping with the search engine company's recent drum-beating about attempts to make headway despite the recession, notably Google CEO Eric Schmidt's repeated comments about the recession's effect on search advertising, Brin started off his letter by mentioning the general "economic hardship." However, he also cited the previous recession of 2000 to 2002, and how it helped Google and other tech companies innovate, as a reason for optimism.
Understandably for a Web-based company, Brin spent a portion of his letter touting cloud computing as the future of IT.
"The benefits of Web-based services, also known as cloud computing, are clear," Brin wrote. "There is no installation. It can be accessed any time, anywhere there is a working Web browser and Internet connection (and sometimes even if there is not one ...). Perhaps even more importantly, new forms of communication and collaboration become possible."
Brin also offered something of a road map for the future of Google Apps, the company's set of cloud-based applications.
"There are a number of things we could improve about these Web services," Brin wrote. "There is less uniformity across them than there should be. For example, they can have different sharing models and chat capabilities. We are working to shift all of our applications to a common infrastructure. I believe we will achieve this soon."
In addition, Brin echoed Schmidt's earlier comments about Google Android, the company's open-source platform for smartphones and mininotebooks, aka netbooks.
"Last year, after a lot of hard work, we released Android to the world," he wrote. "As it is open source, anyone is free to use it and modify it. We look forward to seeing how this open platform will spur greater innovation."
While Android currently occupies only a small fraction of the smartphone OS market, it is widely anticipated that Android's market share will increase.