Google and the principle of more wood behind fewer arrows! ( Service Prioritization and End of Life)
Google prioritizes its products and services and while it is constantly innovating in different levels and layers of services – it is equally ruthless in chopping of products and services which donot support its strategic imperatives and directions.
From an outsider’s perspectice, the following principles are evident as a part of Google’s service End of Life (EOL) strategy.
1. Products and Services are shelved as and when a better substitute (in terms of delivery mechanism or service/customer experience) is in place
Examples include HTML over UiApp, 3D imagery (Street View) over Google Building maker, Android/Chrome over iGoogle, Youtube over Google Videos, Google Drive on desktop over Cloud Connect, Google Shopping over Search API and many more.
2. Axing stand alone services in favour of a platform approach
For Instance HTML5 over Voice App for Blackberry, Google Apps/Vault over Postini (and many more)
3. Inadequate or middle of nowhere solution!
Lack of success of Google Wave was attributed among other things to its complicated user interface resulting in a product that was a bit like email, a bit like an instant messenger and a bit like a wiki but ultimately couldn’t do any of the things really better than the existing solutions
4. Services that are simply non-core i.e it doesnot extend Google’s strategic imperatives
Google Classic Plus was a customization service that let people upload or select images to use as a background on Google.com. However, it really was noncore in terms of customer experience or service delivery. It was hence dropped.
5. And then there is Performance…
Google Health (inspite of all its promise) was axed as it was seen not having the broad impact that Google had planned. Same goes with Google Apps for teams as well.
Listed below are a list of services that have been chopped over the last few years – for not having made the Google cut – its a case of Google forever prioritizing and trying to put more wood behind fewer arrows
How dynamic distributed computing and resource allocation is pushing the boundaries of modern computing?
Globally, Petabytes and Zettabytes are the new everyday normals for Data and Data Operators. In the era of consumer based massive media generation, web giants such as Google and Twitter are honing their skills at dynamic and distributed computing to serve the global demands of high-speed data realization. Here’s how?
The raw computing power for responding and processing to billions of online requests comes through data centres – clusters and arrays of servers handling queries and searches. Google for instance works on Petabytes of data generated on a daily basis. Management and economics of data centres are key technology and business supports for running the internet. Hence, processes and techniques to enable data centre efficiecies are key to great internet experience and data delivery.
Towards this Google and Twitter, independently have been working on Dynamic distributed computing resource allocation systems. The term is used to imply efficient parcelling of work and applications across Google’s fleet of data centre and armies of computing servers. Google calls this system Borg and Twitter calls it Mesos. Google has a next generation system that is in the works called – Omega.
These systems provide a central brain for controlling tasks across the company’s data centers. Rather than building a separate cluster of servers for each software system — one for Google Search, one for Gmail, one for Google Maps, etc. — Google can erect a cluster that does several different types of work at the same time. All this work is divided into tiny tasks, and the system dynamically assigns these tasks wherever it can find free computing resources, such as processing power or computer memory or storage space i.e resources.
Underneath the concept of dynamic distribution of application/ computing load across sets of servers is the core- the microprocessor! Traditionally, the computer processor — the brain at the center of a machine — ran one task at a time. But a multi-core processor lets the programmer run many tasks in parallel. Basically, it’s a single chip that includes many processors, or processor cores. The numbers could be as high as 64 or 128 cores on the same processor – thereby multiplying the processing capability.
Thus Omega and Mesos let you run multiple distributed systems atop the same cluster of servers. Instead of running one server for Application 1 and the second server for Application 2- this now allows the same server to run both the applications at the same time. Complex computational processes and data hogging activities now are automatically alloted computing resources and (server) core structure to allow the data centre do multiple times activity and computation.
Yes, there are other ways of efficiently spreading workloads across a cluster of servers. One could use virtualization, where virtual servers can run atop physical machines and then load them with relevant software and applications. But with Borg and Mesos, the human element in juggling all those virtual machines is eliminated making the process automated!
Worldwide PC shipments increased 12% year-on-year in Q4 2012 to reach 134.0 million units, with pads accounting for over a third. Tablet segment grew by 75% in Q4, 2012 to 46.2 million units with full year shipments totaling 114.6 million units.
Apple continues to lead the PC market, shipping 27.0 million units and taking its share over 20% for the first time. Apple’s growth in the pad segment was driven by strong demand for the iPad mini. Its overall shipments, however, were hampered by supply issues. Canalys estimates that the mini made up over half of Apple’s total pad shipments, with its attractive price point and compact design leading to significant cannibalization in the iPad range and wider PC market. Despite record shipments, Q4 saw Apple’s pad share dip to 49%, becoming the first quarter it has not controlled over half the market. Without the iPad Mini, Apple would surely have lost more ground to its competitors
HP shipped 15.0 million PCs, beating Lenovo by 200,000 units to regain second place, with both vendors taking an 11% share.
Samsung, buoyed by strong tablet shipments, had its first quarter in the top five, shipping 11.7 million PCs, giving it a 9% share and fourth place ahead of Dell. Samsung shipped 7.6 million pads in Q4, an increase of 226%, driven by its ability to push products down into lower price bands.
Dell clocked in 9.7million units, a 19% decline over its 2011 numbers. With the planned buyout of Dell to go through- it will give the company time to rethink its strategy and refocus, away from the demands of Wall Street and shareholders. Microsoft’s involvement in the Dell buyout raises eyebrows in the light of its recent aspirations to become a hardware vendor. But it is not likely to solve Dell’s problems as even Microsoft struggles with pads
Amazon’s worldwide shipments grew 18% to 4.6 million units, as it expanded the Kindle Fire range and launched in markets outside the United States.
Google’s own Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 products performed relatively well, with combined shipments of 2.6 million taking 2% of the global PC market share.
If you are not doing something crazy, you are doing the wrong things
Google CEO Larry Page
However what is so interesting in the convergence space is the approach that the two giants – Apple and Google are taking to the leadership of the technology slugfest. While Apple fiddles with its 7 year old Apple TV inching it to perfection and there is some news about Apple delivering an iWatch towards wearable computing – Google seems to be focussing on Project Glass and its Driverless Cars as the prime future projects. From the current state of affairs – it looks like while Apple fiddles over TV and iWatch – Driverless Cars and Project Glass might be the key for Google to Vault and Ace Apple.
Whats emminent in the next 3-5 year horizon is the paassng over of the Smartphone age substituted by more Always on, Real time Computing.
Google has released statistics on global internet usage for 2012. According to the company the number of world-wide email users is at 2.2 billion with daily email traffic of 144 billion. Gmail emerged the most popular service provider with 425 million active users while Google’s web page and sites registered 191 million visitors as of November 2012.
The report shows the number of internet users worldwide stands at 2.4 billion with Africa coming in fifth accounting for 167 million of those. Asia is the leading continent in internet usage with 1.1 billion users followed by Europe with 519 million, North America with 274 million, and 255 million users in Latin America and the Caribbean islands.
The Middle East records 90 million users while Australia and Oceania regions account for 24.3 million users. The number of users in China alone is 565 million making it the country with the most users and internet penetration of 42.1 percent. On the social media platform, the report established Brazil as the most active country on Face book with 85,962 posts per month.
Worldwide face book had 1 billion active users as of October 2012, 47 percent of those being female and a user average age of 40.5 years. Twitter followed in popularity with 200 million users with 163 billion tweets since its inception and a user age average of 37.3 years. Google+ recorded 135 million users while Google recorded 1.2 trillion searches in December 2012. The report also establishes that 6.7 billion people were accessing internet through their mobile phones 1.1 billion of those through smart phones.
The number of mobile handsets was at 5.3 billion with 1.3 billion smart phones in use worldwide by end of 2012. 465 million android smart phones were sold in the same year. Google says it is almost impossible to capture all statistics seeing as the web has massive information but the prediction for 2013 is that people will rely more on the internet privately and professionally with more people using their mobile devices to access the internet while social media will become more significant to people’s lives as more use it not only for social networking but also to run their businesses.
Post the maps fiasco, Apple has been under some heat – and Google’s alacrity was very natural and expected. Symbolically, Google is now churning better Apps that work with the Apple eco-system thereby challenging the status quo of the Apple Mobile eco-system as the piece de resistance of the Mobile world. Google is thus taking Apple out from its biggest strength eating into it – as like a worm- going inside-out.
From the Google perspective, Google is putting its resources at apps that work on the iOS platform as well and there is statistical evidence that Google strategy is working. Sample the AppData which now records YouTube and Google maps as the No.1 and 2 iPhone apps.
Now then- it puts Apple on the backfoot then? In a pre-2008 Internet world dominated by Google, Apple’s app experience based strategy was a major departure in terms of branded apps, app publications and “there’s an app for that approach”. Suddenly Internet was not a passive media – it was rich content media with immersive experiences designed by publishers for the users. Advertisers and Publishers saw Apple as the challenger in chief to an Internet world to which Google search was the prominent portal. Android coming from behind to take over Apple’s App domain is something that the Late Steve Jobs or the current Tim Cook wouldn’t have wanted. Unfortunately that is how its seems to be panning out now.
However, from a longer perspective – it aint much of anything really – The battle is not so much between Google and Apple as much as Open Source and Propreitary. And Apple has a lesson or two to take home in terms of the amount of control of its walled garden that it must forego, choosing its strenths in terms of device based service/experience integration.
As quoted in an earlier post – Does Apple need to change course its philosophy of exclusivity?
To maintain its position, the company will have to focus more on giving its devices superb access to content it doesn’t control and hasn’t approved. Apples’ dogged and quixotic quest for control on the eco-system, my lead it to block more realistic and better solutions that emerge on the open Internet. There is leaf out of the book of Amazon that Apple could take a learning from (managing the eco-system). Apple must learn and execute to collaborate – rather than whole control.
There is no win-all. You win some,you loose some. The timess- they are changing!