Google将超越微软? 打造网络计算机帝国

来源:百度文库 编辑:16楼社区 时间:2021/09/26 07:48:10
作者: CNET科技资讯网 翻译:李海
CNETNews.com.cn 2005-09-22 09:0 AM
CNET科技资讯网 9月22日国际报道用最近出版了搜索巨人书籍的一位作家的话说,Google有机会超越微软,成为科技行业最有统治地位的公司。
Google已深具影响力。它处理了世界上几乎一半的网页搜索。它已礼聘了科技行业中一些大牌人士,从引人争议的微软前雇员李开复到传奇人物,互联网早期发展的先驱Vint Cerf。Google已经成为硅谷的热门话题,以至于它要寻找一位新大厨这样的事情都保证会成为当地新闻报纸上头号新闻。
但接下来呢?作家Stephen Arnold已深入的分析了Google的专利,工程文件以及技术,他认为,Google有一个雄心壮志,这就是将信息时代从台式机推向互联网。他表示,Google正致力成为一种网络化的计算机平台,用所谓的“虚拟”应用,或软件,这种平台可以让用户在互联网连接方式下完成任何设备所能完成的任务。
Arnold在他的书中称:“Google是这个时代的计算平台,它可能会将微软从王座上拉下来。”这本名为“Google传奇:Google的互联网搜索如何改变应用软件”的书将在本月出版。
Google公司99%的收入仍然来自广告,其中最要是互联网关键字搜索广告业务。当然,Google已经确定了自己的核心业务,同时也在积极进行扩展,从Gmail免费网络电子邮件服务到“Google地球”这样的卫星地图服务。对于新技术开发费用,它拥有充裕的现金支持,Google目前的现金接近70亿美元,光是9月14日的新发股票,Google就从二级市场获得了40亿美元。
当然,关键问题在于,Google的首席执行官Eric Schmidt如何来制定这场战争计划?
在他的书中,Arnold认为,Google已经建造一台超级计算机,准备为拥有网页浏览器的任何人提供应用程序的主机服务。这种模式与微软以桌面为中心的世界截然不同。
Arnold还认为,Google将购买中国的百度公司,另外,它还可能进入即将快速发展的互联网语音电话市场。
网络化计算机的概念并不是新东西。Sun公司的首席执行官Scott McNealy多年以来就一直表示,网络就是计算机。甲骨文的首席执行官Larry Ellison就曾经成立过一家公司,其名字就叫做“新互联网计算机公司” ,主要销售网络冲浪设备,不过,这家公司在两年前关门歇业了。
但是,和Sun及甲骨文不同,Google的时机要好些。Arnold说:“Sun对网络计算机概念进行了定义,Ellison试图建造这样的公司,但Google却拥有这种的系统。”
Arnold说,从一开始起,Google的创始人Sergey Brin和Larry Page就对自己的系统进行了精心的规划,他们将廉价的服务器连成集群,他们使用开源软件,因此,这就象圣诞树上的灯泡,即使某一个坏掉了,也可以对其进行更换,从而不影响整个系统的工作。
Arnold在书中写到:“使用普通的硬件,Google能以最低的成本,最快的速度部署更多的容量,这种能力超过了竞争对手。”
比如,Google推出的桌面搜索和工具条产品已经迫使微软重组了自己的部门。
谈到Google对“黑光纤”的意图,Arnold表示:“黑光纤对我说的虚拟应用的实现很有帮助,一旦Google拥有高速网络连接,Google的数据中心就会大发神威,他们将推出更好的东西,这些东西将一举超越电话,媒体这些传输范畴。”
另外,Google还对电力线宽带技术公司进行了投资。有传言说,Google还对卫星很感兴趣,显然,卫星技术可以推动它的三维Google地球应用程序的发展。
本周,Google悄无声息的推出了“Google安全访问”,这是一种还在测试中的客户端应用程序,它能够允许用户在使用Wi-Fi无线网络时,建立一种安全的,加密性质的网络连接。
此外,从今年年初开始,Google还在与旧金山的Feeva公司合作,这是一家专门从事Wi-Fi访问的公司。星期二,Feeva公司证实了这一消息,但这家公司的发言人Keith Kamisugi 拒绝透露详细情况,他只是表示,Feeva和Google准备在旧金山的市中心提供免费的Wi-Fi接入点。人们可以在这些区域连接上网,查看Google的网页。
Google最近还购买了无线软件公司Android。为了打造一个“全球骨干网络”,Google还在招募一名全球架构战略谈判代表,以便处理向黑光纤这样的事务。
分析师指出,互联网语音通讯与视频也是Google相当感兴趣的领域。
还有人认为,和其它那些有很高带宽需求的大公司一样,为了节约成本,Google可能会修建自己的网络。
Gartner的分析师Allen Weiner预测说,Google最终会推出Google电话。
Weiner还说:“如果Google建造出一种主机平台的话,人们可以上载各种各样的内容,比如视频和播客内容等等,这些内容均能被Google搜索,被Google转化为盈利的来源。”(编辑:孙莹)
Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft
Published: September 21, 2005, 8:00 AM PDT
ByElinor Mills
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Google‘s one-of-a-kind computer network gives it a chance to surpass Microsoft to become the most dominant company in tech, according to the author of a recently published book on the search giant.
Google already has plenty of influence. It handles nearly half of the world‘s Web searches. It‘s hiring some of the biggest names in the industry, from the controversialKai-Fu Lee of Microsoft to the legendaryVint Cerf, an early Internet pioneer. And it has become such the topic du jour in Silicon Valley that its search for anew corporate chef warrants significant local news coverage.
But what‘s next? Author Stephen Arnold has closely analyzed Google patents, engineering documents and technology and has concluded that Google has a grand ambition--to push the information age off the desktop and onto the Internet. Google, he argues, is aiming to be the network computer platform for delivering so-called "virtual" applications, or software that allows a user to perform a task on any device with an Internet connection.
"Google is this era‘s transformational computing platform and could be about to unseat Microsoft from its throne," Arnold writes in a summary of his book, "The Google Legacy: How Google‘s Internet Search is Transforming Application Software," published this month.
For all of its wild success, about 99 percent of Google‘s revenue still comes from advertising, mostly from Internet keyword searches. Certainly, it has built on the core business, adding everything from the Gmail free Web-based e-mail service to Google Earth, a satellite mapping service. And it has plenty of cash to spend on new technology--nearly $7 billion in cash, $4 billion alone from a secondary stock offering on Sept. 14.
The big question, of course, is what exactly CEO Eric Schmidt & Co. plan to do with that war chest.
In his book, which isavailable in electronic PDF form only, Arnold concludes that Google has created a supercomputer ready to deliver a host of applications to anyone with a Web browser.
"Google is setting itself up to be an application delivery system for any type of device," said Arnold, who has been a technology and financial analyst for 30 years. He has helped build the technology management practice at Booz Allen & Hamilton, served as a technology strategy officer at Ziff Communications, and worked on US West‘s electronic yellow pages and personalization tools used by @Home. "That is a different type of paradigm from Microsoft‘s" desktop-centric world, he said.
Arnold‘s research goes well beyondspeculation that Google will buy Chinese portal Baidu.com, in which it already owns a small stake, or move further into the soon-to-explode voice over Internet Protocol market, beyond its voice chat-enabledGoogle Talk instant-messaging service.
The notion of a network computer isn‘t new. Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealyhas for years been saying "the network is the computer." Oracle CEO Larry Ellison formed a company around the idea. It was called the "New Internet Computer Company," and it sold Web surfing devicesbefore shuttering two years ago.
But unlike Sun and Oracle, Google‘s timing could be impeccable, Arnold argues. "Sun defined it. Ellison tried to build it. But Google owns it," he said.
The secret sauce
In short, from early on, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page resourcefully figured out how to cluster lots of cheap servers and open-source software, configured to act like individual light bulbs on a Christmas tree that can be added or replaced without making the whole tree go dark, according to Arnold.
Indeed, Google representatives proudly display the company‘s unique rack-mounted server system to visitors to the Mountain View, Calif., campus.
"Google‘s architecture can scale. Using commodity hardware, Google can deploy more capacity at a lower cost and more quickly than a competitor relying on a system built with brand-name hardware," Arnold writes in his book.
Google‘s move into Web services--its Desktop Search and Sidebar products, for example--hasprompted Microsoft to reorganize and combine MSN with its platform products group to help the software giant fight off Google‘s encroachment on its turf, said Frank Gillett, an analyst at Forrester Research.
Dark fiber, wireless
The reports ofGoogle‘s interest in unused fiber optic, also known as "dark fiber," seems to support Arnold‘s theory.
"Dark fiber will enable greater dependency on what I call virtual applications," he said. "Once those high-speed connections link the dozen or so Google data centers, they will do stuff better, enable much more than telephony, media delivery."
Joe Kraus, a founder of the Excite.com portal that merged with Internet service provider @Home before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, agreed that Google executives are likely thinking big, although he acknowledged he "doesn‘t have the slightest clue" what they are doing.
"They‘ve been buying dark fiber for a good five years. It allows them to have such cheap communications between all their data
centers," said Kraus, chief executive of online start-up JotSpot.
"A lot of people have talked about Google‘s core ability to host thousands of applications and being your desktop in the sky," he said. "They certainly never fail to take advantage of it when launching new products."
Google also hasinvested in Current Communications Group, a provider of broadband-over-power-line technology. In addition, there are rumors that Google is eyeing satellite, technology that drives its 3D Google Earth application.
"They said, back when they invested in the Internet-over-power-lines company, that part of their corporate mission is ‘promoting universal access to the Internet for users,‘" said Danny Sullivan, editor ofSearch Engine Watch. "They seem to think they need to make sure everybody can get online, and running your own network certainly makes that a lot easier."
This week, Google quietly launchedGoogle Secure Access, a beta version of a downloadable client application that allows users to establish a secure, encrypted network connection while using a Wi-Fi wireless network. The program can be downloaded at certain Google Wi-Fi locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Google said, without stating exactly where those locations are.
The company also has been working with San Francisco company Feeva on Wi-Fi access since earlier this year, Feeva spokesman Keith Kamisugi confirmed Tuesday. He declined to elaborate, except to say that Feeva and Google offer a free Wi-Fi hot spot at the trendy Union Square shopping area in downtown San Francisco. People who connect to the network see a Google Search splash page, Kamisugi said.
Google spokesman Nate Tyler told Reuters that it was running a limited test of a free wireless Internet service, called Google Wi-Fi, with hot spots in a pizza parlor and a gym located near the company‘s headquarters.
Google also recentlypurchased Android, a wireless software start-up, and waslooking to hire a global infrastructure strategic negotiator to ink dark fiber contracts as part of a "global backbone network."
Offering Internet access gets more potential Google users online and gives the company another way to target consumers with ads, particularly location-based advertisements for wireless users.
Google, which tends to keep long-term plans under wraps, did not return an e-mail seeking comment for this story. (Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised bya previous story.)
Some people speculate the company will use the dark fiber to build a massive nationwide network that would rival those of some of the largest Internet backbone providers such as MCI and AT&T. As that theory goes, Google would use this network to shuttle traffic across the country between its data centers. Then it would use a wireless network to distribute the content locally to end users.
Voice, video
Voice over Internet communications is also a likely target, analysts said.
"If the traffic is flowing across the Internet, you have no idea how many routers the traffic has gone through, which can impact the quality of the call," said Michael Howard, an analyst at Infonetics Research. "But if the traffic travels on your own network, you can control the quality. That could be reason enough to build a network."
Video is another possibility. Googlehosts people‘s downloaded video for free andindexes and searches it.
"It‘s pretty evident that they will have some play in video distribution. How that‘s going to come out is still a mystery," said Vamsi Sistla, director of broadband and digital home/media at ABI Research.
Like many otherlarge companies with high bandwidth needs, Google could be building its own network simply to be saving money.
"I would imagine that Google must be paying someone a lot of money to keep its data centers running and in sync," Howard said. "So it makes perfect sense for them to build a network themselves to connect their data centers."
Gartner analyst Allen Weiner, who predicts Google will eventually develop a Google phone, said becoming an application delivery platform would be "part of (Google‘s) intellectual property DNA."
"If they built out a hosting platform for people to upload all kinds of content that could be searched by Google and monetized by Google, like video and podcasts...it takes money to do, and with the search capabilities as their strong suit it could be something they could do," Weiner said. "Google could say, ‘We‘ll host it for you; you point to us.‘ That could be huge."
CNET News.com‘s Marguerite Reardon and Martin LaMonica contributed to this report.