Yesterday, Google announced its intentions to build a complete operating system under the Chrome brand. The Chrome OS is positioned as an "open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks."
There's been lots of speculation around Google's motivations here. I even heard a newscaster on Chicago local radio today say that it was direct retaliation for Microsoft's launch of "the Bing Internet Search Engine."
Allow me to clear up any confusion. Google's main reason for launching an OS is to increase the number of search queries performed and, in turn, boost its revenue from search advertising.
Per Google, the "Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the web." Essentially it's designed to get people online faster and easier. This in turn, will stimulate more queries as 80% of all internet activity begins with a search (per Harris Interactive).
Personally, I think the Chrome OS is more of a response to Facebook's ambitions to create a walled-garden Internet. The only way Google can penetrate users on Facebook (where search is powered by Bing) is to get them before they go to Facebook (eg, when they load up their computer thru an OS), around Facebook (via web browser or toolbar), or after they're done with Facebook (via Gmail, Docs, Spreadsheets, etc.)
The Google announcement proclaims, "We hear a lot from our users and their message is clear — computers need to get better.... And any time our users have a better computing experience, Google benefits as well by having happier users who are more likely to spend time on the Internet."
Methinks if Google was being totally transparent it would tack "and clicking on search advertising" to the end of that statement.
For that matter, if Google was being totally transparent it would update its mission statement to "make money from advertising by organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. "
The next step from here, of course, is for Google to give away free netbooks pre-loaded with the Chrome OS. But one announcement at a time.
Update 9/8: Sony just announced its going to be shipping Vaios pre-loaded with Chrome in the US. I'm quoted in MediaPost regarding this news and share more thoughts on what this means for consumers, marketers and publishers on the Connectual blog.
Here's the quick and dirty: I've been in the digital marketing and media space for over ten years, which is like sixty dog years in traditional media. I've served time on the agency, media, and technology side of the table, working with marketers ranging from global Fortune 500 brands to local start-ups.
Over the years I've run the gamut of digital marketing -- display, search, video, email, co-reg, affiliate, sponsorships, etc. Through it all, the one thing I've learned is that the only constant in this space is change. And the key to winning is not only knowing which way the wind is blowing but when the tide has reached its peak.
About This Blog
Welcome to the official Aaron Goldman blog -- sorry, gotta talk about myself in 3rd person for SEO purposes.
Somehow having 15 blogs and contributing to 3 others wasn't enough. Maybe it's the Type-F in me. So I decided to create one more.
Why? Well, despite having plenty of online real-estate to share my POV, I found myself without a forum to comment on general trends in digital marketing and media. All of the other blogs I post on are specific to a niche in the marketplace -- search, URLs, etc.
On this blog, I'll opine on the sea change being brought about by the shift in media from analog to digital, push to pull, broadcast to narrowcast, one-way to two-way, etc. And I'll touch on all the various marketing opportunities that are coming to bear in pursuit of the blue oceans ahead.
Note: I've recently begun using images to poignantly punctuate my posts. Wherever possible, I provide attribution for images that are not my own. If I've used one of your images and you feel that I'm infringing on your copyright, please contact me and I'll remove it promptly.
Update: effective September 3, 2010, this blog is no longer active. Please see this post for more information and join the conversation at the Googley Lessons blog.