Gord Hotchkiss did a piece today about Google and the mobile market. As Hotchkiss sees it Google holds all the cards to take advantage of everything coming down the pike. He notes Google is pushing hard to make Android the default operating system in the Open Automotive Alliance. Google is basically looking to turn cars into really big mobile devices. Laurie Sullivan covered this for MediaPost here.
From the article:
if you piggyback that search functionality onto the de facto operating system that powers all those apps, and then add a highly functional social graph, you have all the makings of a foundation that will support the “horizontalization” of the mobile connected market. Put this in place, and revenue opportunities will begin falling into your lap.
The writing is plainly on the wall here. The future is all about mobile connections. It is the foundation of the Web of Things, wearable technology, mobile commerce — anything and everything we see coming down the pipe. The stakes are massive. And, as markets turn horizontal in the inevitable maturation phase to come, Google seems to be well on its way to creating the required foundations for that market.
Let’s spend a little time looking at how powerful this position might be for Google. Microsoft is still coasting on its success in creating a foundation for the desktop, 30 years later. The fact that it still exists at all is testament to the power of Windows. But the desktop expansion that happened relied on just one device: the PC. And, the adoption curve for the PC took two decades to materialize, due to two things: the prerequisite of a fairly hefty investment in hardware, and a relatively steep learning curve.
The mobile adoption curve, already the fastest in history, has no such hurdles to clear. Relative entry price points are a fraction of what was required for PCs. Also, the learning curve is minimal. Mobile connectivity will leave the adoption curve of PCs in the dust.
The question that really needs to be answered for consumers and businesses alike remains, “Who will challenge Google ?” Right now, at least in the Western world it looks like no one. Google continues on a path to omnipresence.
Another card that Google holds not mentioned in the article lies with the new gtlds. Depending on what strings Google ultimately controls they will have the opportunity to work on shaping consumer behavior. If Google starts packaging a new gtld for free along with a bundle of other services, people will come to understand those new strings better. Google does things that we may not always like but it shapes behavior. Recently a friend asked me why he had to download Chrome, which he did not want as he is loyal to Firefox. He wanted to edit photos in his Google + account and to do that you must download Chrome, he was pissed but he did it. Google will have a large hand to play in the new gtld space and they may win more pots in changing consumer behavior than a lot of current domainers want to believe.