SAN JOSE, Calif. – What are you searching for at Google I/O?
I'll be attending the annual developer conference for the Internet search giant and it strikes me as very appropriate to try a little crowd sourcing in my reporting on the event. I know a few things I will be looking for, but I want to tap into the intelligence out there in the broader community, too.
I am open to input from anyone--Android developers, server designers, notebook makers testing Chrome OS, TV designers interested in GoogleTV and more. So please, consider me an investigator for hire and post a comment below or drop me an email to let me know what you want to know and why you want to know it.
Google raised quite a firestorm when it decided at least for awhile to restrict to a small group of OEMs the release of Honeycomb, the version of Android for tablets. I understand the company's aim to fine tune the environment since the code will have to compete with Apple's polished iPad software.
Nevertheless, the decision puts it in the dog house with a broad range of mobile systems makers and calls into question its whole approach to open source code. It also further fragments the Android code base already split between multiple releases coming out at a fast pace.
Google I/O provides a great stage for the company to frankly lay out its plans for a full release of Honeycomb. I think the company also needs to show a plan for integrating features from Honeycomb into the smartphone versions of Android and vice versa.
Meanwhile Google TV needs a restart. The company is reeling from a lackluster reception of the Logitech products using it and the last minute decision to hit the pause button on Google TV in January after some content companies said they didn't want to take part in the effort.
The TV ought to be a fabulous Internet client. But I have watched smart engineers bang their heads against the wall for years trying to make it so. The technical, business and user experience issues are many, maybe too many even for Google.
Chrome OS holds lessons for anyone interested in cloud computing. The idea of a device that gets all its apps, data storage—everything—from the Net, is interesting but more than a little hard to implement. Indeed, Chrome OS could be the canary in the mine, showing us the limits of cloud computing, so I hope Google shares some of what it learns from its beta test.
Then there's the server. Everyone I have talked to agrees Google runs what are by far the world's largest data centers. For years they have designed their own data centers, servers and software that runs in them, but to date they have kept much of the details of those designs to themselves while smaller competitors such as Microsoft and Facebook have been much more candid. Again, this is fertile territory for a Google I/O mega-session.
I give Google credit for its ambitions. At the last Google I/O event I attended the company rolled out Wave, an application that aimed to be the successor to email. Well, that one failed as far as I can tell, but you don't learn if you don't try.
I hope to learn a lot from this year's Google I/O. I'll learn even more if you give me a piece of your mind about what I should look for and why.