The big announcement from today was nothing but fluff, in my humble opinion. Basically, Google and sun are going to play nice, and the end result is that user’s downloads of various Google and Sun products are going to be bloated by bundling.
This doesn’t mean that Microsoft has nothing to worry about. In the long view, if these companies really do learn to play nice together, it could spell trouble for the folks in Redmond. Google appears to be sporadically rolling out free WiFi. Sun’s CEO Scott McNealy has previously stated that he believed that computers in the future will be free. When you bring Sun’s and Google’s various strengths and capabilities together, it could be a pretty daunting scene for MSFT (the company and the stock). Google is buying up bandwidth and grid computing capabilities, and rolling out a WiFi last-mile. Sun has some interesting technology with their Sunray thin clients. Imagine that instead of paying a service fee (or software licenses), and buying hardware, you just sign-up and receive a smartcard in the mail. You can use the smartcard anywhere there’s a compatible Google/Sunray client. You plug it in and instantly, you have all of your email, all of your documents, and all of your authorized programs. The Google/Sun alliance may even throw in a free Wifi laptop to make it easier for customers to hook in.
Are Sun and Google going to provide this service out of the goodness of their hearts? Of course not. In a future post, I’ll look at the business case for such a project. Stay tuned!