Google wants to take on Apple with an open AirPlay alternative ??? Tech News and Analysis

Google isn???t the first one to work on an alternative to AirPlay. In fact, the widest-supported AirPlay alternative actually predates Apple???s protocol: The Digital Living Network Alliance launched in 2003 to bring content sharing to the living room. It???s DLNA protocol has been widely adopted by numerous players, with a total of 500 devices supporting DLNA today. However, the actual level of support varies widely, and many manufacturers have opted to roll out their own branded solutions on top of DLNA ??? but even those see little use from consumers.

WebRTC is the new battleground for peer-to-peer vs. server-based models for communications

It would be wrong to classify Google as being purely objective here either. Despite high-profile moves like Google Voice, Gmail and Chat, I think that its dirty secret is that it doesn’t actually want to control or monetise communications per se. I suspect it sees a trillion-dollar market in telecoms services such as phone calls and SMS’s that could – eventually – be dissipated to near-zero and those sums diverted into alternate businesses in cloud infrastructure, advertising and other services.

I suspect Google believes (as do I) that a lot of communications will eventually move “into” applications and contexts. You’ll speak to a taxi driver from the taxi app, send messages inside social networks, or conclude business deals inside a collaboration service. You’ll do interviews “inside” LinkedIn, message/speak to possible partners inside a dating app etc. If your friend wants to meet you at the pub, you’ll send the message inside a mapping widget showing where it is… and so on.

I think Google wants to monetise communications context rather than communications sessions, through advertising or other enabling/exploiting capabilities.

Feature or Product (aka Service)? Perhaps like cameras they will remain both, albeit the Product version being a little more niche.

Google Android Baked Into Rice Cookers in Move Past Phone

Google Inc. (GOOG)???s Android software, the most widely used smartphone operating system, is making the leap to rice cookers and refrigerators as manufacturers vie to dominate the market for gadgets controlled via the Internet.

Android-based products ranging from Royal Philips Electronics NV???s PicoPix pocket projector and LG Electronics Inc. (066570)??? Smart Thinq refrigerators to Parrot SA (PARRO)???s Asteroid car stereo systems and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)???s Galaxy Camera will be on display this week at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Extending its free operating system to new devices could let Google collect more data to build its lucrative search business and one-up software rivals Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. Android also is an easy to-use-platform that helps appliance makers like Samsung and Philips add product features and benefit from demand for Internet-connected devices — a market IDC predicts will reach more than $2 trillion in 2015.

The Federal Trade Commission closes its antitrust review

We???ve always accepted that with success comes regulatory scrutiny. But we???re pleased that the FTC and the other authorities that have looked at Google’s business practices???including the U.S. Department of Justice (in its ITA Software review), the U.S. courts (in the SearchKing and Kinderstart cases), and the Brazilian courts (in a case last year)???have concluded that we should be free to combine direct answers with web results. So we head into 2013 excited about our ability to innovate for the benefit of users everywhere.

Google???s "troubling dominance"

Former FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, now corporate lawyer for Microsoft (among other clients), wrote this op-ed that appeared in yesterday???s New York Times:

Google is not just a ???search engine company,??? or an ???online services company,??? or a publisher, or an advertising platform. At its core, it???s a data collection company.

Its ???market??? is data by, from and about consumers ??? you, that is. And in that realm, its role is so dominant as to be overwhelming, and scary. Data is the engine of online markets and has become, indeed, a new asset class.

[…]

I???ve been concerned about Google???s dominant role in data collection ??? and the profound privacy concerns it raises ??? since my time at the F.T.C. When the commission approved Google???s 2007 acquisition of DoubleClick, I dissented ??? because I was concerned that combining the two companies??? vast troves of consumer information would allow Google, which was largely unchecked by competition, to develop invasive profiles of individuals??? Internet habits.

How dominant is Google?

Google???s looming hegemony

Large utility companies worry about Google. Why? Unlike those who mock Google for being a “one-trick pony”, with 99% of its revenue coming from Adwords, they connect the dots. Right before our eyes, the search giant is weaving a web of services and applications aimed at collecting more and more data about everyone and every activity. This accumulation of exabytes (and the ability to process such almost unconceivable volumes) is bound to impact sectors ranging from power generation, transportation, and telecommunications.

Consider the following trends. At every level, Western countries are crumbling under their debt load. Nations, states, counties, municipalities become unable to support the investment necessary to modernize — sometimes even to maintain — critical infrastructures. Globally, tax-raising capabilities are diminishing.

The reason for the concern, and the solution to the decay of State actors is, Google’s information collection and analysis capability which may become essential to assessing the PPP risk (despite always being underwritten by the tax payer).