Lots of people greeted the announcement of Google’s impending high speed ISP with glee, especially the part about it being a hundred times faster that what any other service provider is dishing out now. Rumor has it Google would be calling it Google Zoom.
The reasons are far from altruistic, though Google claims it is making it available to see what users and developers would do with all that bandwidth.
Google says what it’s doing is an experiment, which means it’s beta and ain’t meant to make any money, yet, but if I were Oracle, IBM, SAP, Microsoft and maybe even Apple, I’d be shitting a brick wall from here to China and back, and a lap around Berlin for good measure. This is like going from a straw to the Lincoln Tunnel. The first thing I see happening is something like Bit Torrent but with video with downloads taking mere seconds than the usual hours or even days. I could see Google relaunching its Google Video brand as a rival to iTunes, a system for delivering music, podcasts, audiobooks, apps for the desktop or mobile phones, e-books, full length video on demand, either streaming or download to your hard drive. I can see users applying Apps, Google Wave and Buzz together, almost seamlessly, sharing huge mounds of data over the pipes with nary a glitch in the proceedings. And the one thing to make it run smoothly is probably an in house internet security suite that doesn’t slow down or get in the way of your browsing experience.
Combine all that with a plethora of Google tablets running on Chrome and Android phones, and you get a scenario not unlike one envisioned by Gates and Ballmer ten years ago, but never seriously followed up on until it was too late to even play catch up.
One can imagine this happening but could Google actually pull it off? The one thing Google does need overall is good customer service
and anybody who’s ever dealt with AdSense or recently bought a Nexus phone can tell you, that is not one of Google’s strengths in the least bit. That’s the one idea Eric Schmidt forgot to pinch from Apple when he was sitting on the board. It’s no use having cool efficient products or stuff that just works if there isn’t good customer service and guest satisfaction to back it up.