Google Steps Up Its Focus On Businesses
While the new WebM royalty-free video format from Google generated many headlines as the Google I/O conference kicked off in San Francisco yesterday, if you listened to yesterday's keynote and followed the other news, it was clear that Google is squarely focused on services and products for enterprises. CEO Eric Schmidt has already characterized enterprises as Google's "next billion dollar opportunity," but only now is it becoming clear how serious Google is about the effort.
One of the big themes during the keynote yesterday, and elsewhere at Google I/O, has been enterprise-focused application development. The announcement of Google App Engine For Business, which lets businesses leverage Google's online hosting infrastructure and related tools, is clear evidencde that Google means business in the cloud. Google I/O has also already included much talk of HTML 5, and the impact it may have on business applications. And Google's new Prediction API has the potential to be an open method for allowing businesses to predict future outcomes and make product recommendations.
Of course, Google's increasing focus on enterprises should come as no surprise. The company has been talking about it for some time. However, we're witnessing an acceleration of enterprise-focused initiatives now. As Tom Krazit notes:
"The push unites two big strategies at Google: the evangelization of the Web--rather than an operating system--as a software development platform, and a corresponding push to get businesses onto the Web. Both fit into Google's model of getting as many people possible on the Web rather than on closed networks within corporations, and raise the possibility that Google could sell extra services and support around those ideas to develop the long-sought revenue stream outside of search advertising."
Exactly. A huge part of Google's push toward the enterprise is that the company needs to expand its revenue stream beyond just search advertising. Even within the realm of search advertising, though, the company's latest moves are increasingly leveraging business users. Eric Schmidt has stated clearly that part of the reason for Android and Chrome OS to exist is to steer more people toward Google's search and advertising infrastructure. Android has nearly 10 percent of the smartphone market, according to Gartner, and many of those users are business users.
Today is expected to be "Android Day" as Google I/O continues. Look for more business-focused announcements to arrive.