This morning, CNBC reported that Google is in close talks with Dell to install Google software on all Dell computers for a one billion dollar fee. CNBC continued to theorize that this will be a huge threat to Microsoft, a company whose stock is already languishing.
The debate then went into whether Google has an operating system and what it is exactly company will be installing on these Dell machines. I should point out that the report said that the talks were in a fragile stage at the moment.
One has to wonder exactly what software Google has that is worth paying a billion dollars to distribute. Is it a browser? The company has been rumored to be coming out with a browser for a very long time in fact. Is it an office suite? Perhaps the deal with SUN a while back has led to Google reselling OpenOffice? But in this case it wouldn’t be reselling, it would be paying for distribution rights. Doesn’t sound like a great business model.
Sure Google has other programs that let you track your news, photos see satellite pictures, search your hard disk, etc. but aren’t these novelty items? I use Google search religiously and even Froogle on occasion but I can’t get comfortable enough with any other Google software to allow me to use it for more than a few days or so before I move on.
Assuming I am an anomaly and the rest of the world seems to love any product that starts with a G or rhymes with “oogle” then why does Google need Dell? After all, doesn’t Google have the distribution power of 10 Microsoft’s with its search home page? If it has a program that is so amazing, can’t it just let people download it?
It would seem that if this agreement is really going to happen then Google has something radically new up its sleeve. Perhaps a browser, perhaps a Microsoft Office killer. Something software-based and something customers aren’t likely to download. The goal would be to get the customers before they get hooked on something else.
In my mind that leaves the browser and Office and possibly a media player. Or is the company selling a Linux operating system and applkications?
If Google is launching software in the office market then Microsoft’s crown jewel in MS Office will be in jeopardy of losing share. Google has been very persistent lately and has inked deals with AOL, NASA and many other companies. If the rumored deal happens then stand back and watch as the war with Microsoft intensifies considerably. In the mean time, if you’re organization orders Dell computers then wait a while as soon enough you will see some new applications on your shiny new Dell monitors that more than likely start with the letter G or rhyme with “oogle.”