May 10, 2013, 12:37 PM —
Image credit: flickr/JD Hancock
No question about it: Google is ginormous. It's hard to even grasp how big it is and how much Google colors our lives. It's as if one day the scrawny stripped-down search engine figured out a way to take over the Internet. It hasn't, yet.
We don't search the Internet anymore, we google information. Google's mobile Android operating system keeps millions of us connected 24/7 via our phones and tablets that are never out of arm's length. Google ads tell us what to buy. And soon Google Glass might augment your vision and intelligence, tethering you to Google's colossal index of data in the cloud. I could go on..
One way to capture Google's largess in words is to call it Planet Google - coincidentally the name of my brand new blog. It's not the only planet in cyberspace - not by a long shot. But Google is the first Web-based mega-company the young Internet has seen. It's what Microsoft once was to the PC revolution of the 1990s. Microsoft defined the computing experience with Windows, just as Google is today with its constellation of Internet services and gadgets.
The Google Era
That's why I've decided to focus on Google in the next weeks to months. For the past decade I covered Microsoft's foibles, wins, and enjoyed poking fun at Windows Vista and Windows 8. Microsoft is still a powerhouse - a big Google rival at that. But today the Internet is the new operating system and it's Google's time.
Make no mistake, Google leadership position is no sure bet. A few years ago Google's competitors were Bing and Yahoo. But today Google's hegemony is threatened by Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and possibly by even Twitter. Yes, Twitter. Don't laugh, in the tech industry your next competitive threat can come from anywhere - just ask Microsoft.
With Google's I/O conference less than a week away, Google Glass mania reaching Justin Bieber levels of media hype, and Google's quiet takeover of iOS with Maps and Google Now well underway (more on that later) it's a perfect time to take a fresh look at Google.
Planet Google will be a place where we'll go beyond the headlines. A place to turn to for regular tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Google services and hardware. We won't be shy about criticizing Google when it trips up either. And Planet Google is also about you. It will be a place for you to ask questions and share your Google experience with others.