Google today announced that they’ll be offering a suite of applications for office workers for only $50 per user a year. These applications, basically an alternative to Microsoft Office, today cost about $150 a user not counting the IT help and hardware to run them. It’s a big deal, but also widely expected. I don’t think the launch of these products is that interesting. What’s coming next is… a Google phone operating system. While some people like Jason Calacanis think a desktop o/s is next, I’m calling a gPhone. Why? Because I think their suite of desktop applications will get solid pick-up (assuming no security concerns) and that wireless access to that email is a no-brainer. While the gmail phone app is good, it’s not ready to be a full-time work wireless email solution. So Google will launch a lightweight smartphone o/s with gmail supported as the email. Oh, and it’s possible they’ll offer subsidized monthly charges in exchange for advertising on the phone. You know, like Eric Schmidt said a few months ago. My nickel is that it’s here by end of 07.
3/1/13 – How right I was! For all the wrong reasons. Google O/S, Android, the most dominant smartphone OS in the world.
Sounds plausible. I've felt like their SMS service has always been a way to get a foot in the door, mobile-wise. As web phones become more commonplace, they'll release services like you've written about and be ahead of the game.
google is rumored to be building a phone os with samsung as their partner. google has refuted this but who dosent refute leaks. if google does go this route, it will be interesting . an ad supported model might not work for mobile phones as the carriers have a walled garden around their services. they are very protective of their networks here in the US and thats a huge problem. over in europe the culture is different. EVERYBODY buys unlocked phones over there so the possiblity for new players and innovations to succeed is much greater on the other side of the pond.
whatever they decide to do, i hope they build contextual awareness and by that i dont mean just wifi or e911 kind of triangulation. they need to have gps in all their phones and when somebody does a search, bam! there is your query 2 blocks from you.
i think RIM and symbian are the market leaders in the enterprise market and windows mobile will be the market leader by 09. if a gphone is on the horizon, it has a lot of catching up to do. end of the day, its the carriers and manufacturers that control the phone market, not the software companies.