Google – A Stock of the Future (谷歌 :一间超时代的公司)

Many still conceive Google as just a search engine company earning money by selling advertisements on the internet only.

In fact Google is much more than that. It is a company of the future. It is a company which is threatening Microsoft.

Apart from selling advertisements online, Google has many other services . This long list of items may have diverted our attention away from what Google is actually heading.

Chrome is a product that will bring success to Google. It is a platform that is challenging Microsoft, a platform that will eventually cannibalize Microsoft’s Desktop.

What Windows is to Microsoft, Chrome is to Google.

Many year ago, being a man of vision and with an ambition to dominate the desktop as well as the Internet, Bill Gate killed Netscape, then  a successful  pioneer web browser developing company, by giving out  the free browser, Internet Explorer (IE). From then on Microsoft’s Browser IE became the dominant web browser for surfing the internet.

Upon Netscape’s going out of business, the industry supported a volunteer group of former Netscape employees to develop the Firefox Browser to challenge Microsoft’s dominance on the internet. However, Firefox was not popular and developers often used IE as a platform for their application developments. Very often Firefox’s http requests hit the annoying  message  “not supported, please use IE”.

For Google to develop Cloud computing, relying on IE as a platform is not a good idea for obvious reason. Neither is it good to relying on Firefox which is maintained by volunteers. So after much deliberation within the company, Google finally developed its own browser, Chrome, and released it in 2008. Within five years, Chrome wins the trust of the internet community and by now has overtaken  IE as the most popular browser on the internet.

Using Chrome, Google gradually integrates all its services such as “Google+”- a social networking service, Google Drive – the Cloud Hard disk, Gmail, Calendar, online office documents processing applications etc.

Microsoft has dominated the desktop for over 28 years. The industry had tried to introduce Linux as an alternative OS to Windows for the desktop but was never successful. The game changed in 2010 when the tablet hit the market. Though the population of desktop users is still large, yet many people have switched from desktop to tablet. And incredibly, six month old babies have also become users because at this age they can stretch their hands to fetch things, the only motor skill required to operate a tablet. In response to the new market, tablet manufacturers emerged with different bleed of OS. Virtually, except  IE,  every made of browser  such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc. can sit on any tablet.  IE on the other hand can only sit on Microsoft’s proprietary Windows OS because as a price paid for killing Netscape, IE cannot be detached from Windows OS made up of codes of Gigabyte size. If Microsoft has to maintain its own standalone browser brand, the only way is to build another browser in a different name making IE a legacy.

In the desktop market,  putting Windows OS and Linux OS side by side, Windows is the giant. However, in the tablet market, the Android OS of Google has dwarfed Windows OS.

“Desktop” computer shall still have a market especially in the office environment. However, the trend has already started in moving the “desktop” to the Cloud. Application shall be deployed from the Cloud the hard disk shall be replaced by the Cloud drive such as Google Drive.

It is a trend that future application shall be deployed from the Cloud as service and hence be charged as a service with revenue model similar to that of cellular phone business, a model with regular and constant cash inflow.  OS and applications shall always be updated automatically  and consumers shall not have to bear the tedious annual upgrading of desktop OS and desktop office applications manually any  more.

The Chromebook of Google  is in fact a landmark product of this future trend.

While online advertising is still Google’s major revenue base and will be subject to economic upturns and downturns similar to all other businesses, this solid revenue base of Google shall healthily  support Google’s development in Cloud computing,  a vast market with tremendous growth  potential. So far in this area, Google is moving in full momentum and is ahead in the game.


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