None of the information I'm giving in here should be new news. And the title of the post should be no shock. But for several weeks, I've been piecing together what Google might be up to.
First, all the events:
- Google is buying up (has bought up) a bunch of dark fiber. (See a CNET article on it. There are plenty of others.)
- Google is backing the Linux BIOS project. (See the Google blog post on it. And again, plenty of others.)
- They've bought up 520 acres near Charleston, SC. (See here. There are others.)
- They have all the application makings of their own entire platform. Mail client, news reader, word processor, spreadsheet, graphics, mapping, etc.
- They have a really, really, really good grid algorithm. I don't know the number of devices Google search runs on, but my understanding is that they've got thousands of cheapo PC's that do the actual search work.
So what a co-worker and I decided Google was up to was a cheap piece of hardware (yes, another web kiosk, WebTV, sort of thing). It would be very inexpensive because you won't own the hardware. You'll be hooked up to "googlenet", not the internet. This will be great for families because they've got what's known to be "safe". You don't own the hardware, because when you're not using the hardware, it becomes another node in the Google Grid - so it's performing search queries. And Gmail can continue to provide "unlimited" storage, because they'll have thousands and thousands of these pieces of hardware distributed all over the country (world?).
So in short, you get:
- Access to "googlenet" - a really fast, really safe internet. No pr0n, no war3z, no g4mbling.
- A box that hooks up to your TV.
- Lots of apps that are constantly being updated.
- All of this for really cheap because it's mostly funded by Google Ads.
- Lots more devices in their grid for performing search.
- Lots more distributed disk space for providing back to their users.
- A really compelling alternative to the internet.
- Lots more really, really, really focused advertising dollars.
- World domination?