Google's plan: No downloads, no installs

May 28, 2008 7:18:28 PM PDT
The innovators at Google previewed some next-generation web features, all in an attempt to inspire developers to jump in with cutting edge ideas of their own.

Google invited software developers to look at the future and it appears to have them all moving in the same direction. Their goal is to make software that people don't have to download and install by using tools developed by Google.

We are at the beginning of the internet revolution, not the end," says Google's Vice President of enginerring Vic Gundotra.

MySpace, the popular social network site, has jumped on board with a feature to let users sort their mail.

Google engineers say this is just the beginning.

"They'll be able to track their friends, if their friends allow them to do that. They'll be able to share information, to share precious moments in their life, to be able to recall their data at any point, on any device, at any time. And Google is helping to make that possible," says Gundotra.

Software developers say it means they can compete against giants like Microsoft.

"I do believe it's the way to go because your reach is just so much more. Your ability to reach customers by just giving them a url, rather than telling them to download my application, is so much easier. It's the way to go," says software developer Sudha Varadarajan. Google also unveiled new applications that will be on cell phones later this year and could give Apple's iPhone some competition.

"This is open-source software, which means it's free software. If you look at cell phones today, about 20 percent of the cost of cell phones is software. Just like you pay for your operating system for your desktop, people have to pay royalties for software on cell phones," says Andy Rubinfrom Google's Android Team.

That could lead to more choices and lower cost for consumers and has provided these developers the tools to get moving.

To give you a sense of the level of commitment here, Google was expecting 2,000 developers to attend. Instead, 3,000 showed up, and for the first time ever, they had to pay a $400 registration fee.


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