You can post comments here in real-time using Disqus and I'll try to embed a live chat here before it starts.
Today are Ice Cream Sandwich, open sourcing, Google TV integration, lots more Android surprises, Chrome OS tomorrow with all the commercial products to come with that. Make sure you tune in live for the show at 9AM PDT on http://google.com/io
I've briefly been able to speak with all 3 of these people on this picture over this past year at different conferences. Andy Rubin boss of Android Apple-killing, Vic Gundotra boss of Facebook-killing and Sundar Pichai boss of Chrome OS Microsoft-killing. All three of which are more or less Intel-killing.
Perhaps I will embed some kind of Google chat room together with the live video embed once things start today.
1. Support ARM Processors, to be in sub-$100 box. Even run a full Google TV UI "mode" from the HDMI output of every new Android smartphone (expect Google TV to become a part of Android's Ice Cream Sandwich?)
2. Support apps like BitTorrent/RSS, Seedbox management with SFTP, Rapidshare/Megaupload streaming, make it the easiest way to pirate all movies and TV shows with a remote control on the TV.
3. Unlock Desktop User Agent in the Flash plugin. The only reason TV websites can block Google TV is because of the Flash plugin not hiding itself as a Flash-for-Desktop user agent. It's only a question of Adobe and Google making the decision (if the rights holders keep blocking them), they can make Google TV unblockable. Even make it easy to sign up for fast and reliable proxy services all over the world if certain online web TV are being region blocked (make it easy for the world to stream US based Hulu/Netflix/Viacom/etc, UK based BBC, French based France Television, etc..).
I expect that Google is going to announce all 3 at Google I/O. What do you expect Google TV 2.0 is going to be like?
I think the Google TV software needs to be in every cheap media player, in every set-top-box, and basically, it needs to make it easy for every TV user to easily get access to all web video in as few clicks and as little typing as possible. It may bring a keyboard into every living room, but that usage needs to be as seamless and easy as possible, start typing the name of the show and hit enter to tune in to that show, show options, live, on-demand, legal free/paid/ads if available, "illegal" BitTorrent RSS-subscribe Seedbox/SFTP-service-for-anonymous one click reliable add to queue. Another cool app would be Sopcast, and also the first use of Sopcast through seedboxes for "illegal" 10mbit/s or more live streaming of every TV channel in the world, basically make it as seamless as possible for people to cut the cable/satellite cord and replace it with full freedom of on-demand media choices if they so want to, all designed for leanback mode.
Let's have high expectations for this upcoming Google I/O developer conference to happen on May 10-11th in San Francisco, to be live streamed on the web. The Google engineers have been working very hard for months, even years, on a culmination of new software solutions that will likely dominate most of the devices to be found in the next years of Consumer Electronics tradeshows. Get ready for the biggest most action packed Google I/O event in the history of Google, read my following list of expectations.
1. Honeycomb to get open sourced. While the first Tegra2 based commercial Honeycomb tablets have been released and are being released, I expect Google will announce the opening of Honeycomb and Google's support to optimize it for all the ARM SoC platforms, all including TI, Qualcomm, Rockchip, Freescale, Marvell, Telechips, NEC/Renesas, AmLogic, all should be getting it! All must get it! If it's a long shot to expect Google to announce their support for all ARM Processors, them open sourcing it sure will make it happen anyways. I expect that several of these major ARM SoC vendors already have been working on Honeycomb for a while, and they all may start their announcements around Google I/O timing.
This is a big deal because it is the first truely tablet optimized OS ever made. See my video interview with Matias Duarte a product manager on Honeycomb UI design at Google.
2. Ice Cream Sandwich to be shown for the first time. One of the reasons Google said they delayed Honeycomb open sourcing was to provide an integration of the new Honeycomb features that can scale down to Smartphone sized screens, and that also means to certain previous Froyo tablets which may not either be totally compatible with at least the initial Honeycomb source code. Basically, it may be Gingerbread with Honeycomb's improved multi-tasking, improved widgets, improved web browser and more on top.
While Google will integrate the full optimizations for flashy impressive Dual-Core next generation super smartphones, I also expect Google to bring a light version of Ice Cream Sandwich suitable for Sub-$50 Android smartphones to reach 2 Billion more people around the world. See my initial video review of the $87 FG8 Android Smartphone that I found a couple of weeks ago in Shenzhen China.
This is a big deal because it finally makes ARM Powered laptops a mass market possibility. Sure enough, Ubuntu 11.4 Netbook Edition is fantastic also on ARM, but Chrome OS will make Linux and ARM Powered laptops for the first time a reliable choice for the consumer buying laptops on the mass market.
4. Google TV 2.0 for ARM to be open sourced. This improved UI, with full Google Marketplace support. I expect it to work on all the ARM Processors, including even the cheapest platforms such as Rockchip, Telechips, AmLogic and more. I expect Google to fork two versions of Google TV, one Full and one Basic, the Full version doing all the advanced HDMI pass-through, overlay stuff and IR blaster, the basic version doing just HDMI out and WebTV only. If TV networks in the USA still want to block Google TV regarding it as their worst enemy and trojan horse, Google and Adobe will probably unlock full undetectable Desktop User Agent Flash support, making it impossible to block full screen Flash playback. Adobe and Google still may want to fight it over with the TV networks to get some kind of distribution deal still, but if their lawyers don't come to an agreement, Google simply will be forced to unlock full access that cannot be detected in a full Desktop class web browser on the TV. Expect though Google to announce Movie distribution deals with all the major Movie production companies, at least for the USA. I expect Google TV 2.0 to be released worldwide. Pricing to start at $59 for an unsubsidized ARM Powered Google TV basic box.
This is a big deal because it makes the ARM Powered Set-top-boxes a useful mass market opportunity. Easy video-on-demand on the TV can change how people watch TV.
5. Google's Social Network premieres. I am expecting them to come with the first really useful social network. Not some wall for stalking old high school connections, and not some for following famous people's SMS messages, and not just the types of experimentations that were Wave/Buzz, but something now really useful to the point people will be using it to find new colleagues, find new friends, do new activities locally and far away, create new content in new collaborations, be productive socially but also enable a new type of fun through social, once they succeed this is going to be a big deal and will make people wonder why tech bloggers have regarded so highly of Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Friendfeed.
What do you think Google will announce by the Google I/O conference on May 10-11th? Post your ideas in the comments.
Neowin.net says sources confirm the first Chrome OS notebooks are going to be sold starting around late June or early July and the pricing might be innovative using subscription model tied with ones Gmail account.
The search giant is planning on using an unconventional form of distribution to customers. Google will be selling the devices as part of a subscription based model with Gmail to customers.
According to our source, Google plans to make the notebooks available for $10-$20 a month per user, and will provide hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package, and will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription. On top of this, Google will make the devices available for a one time payment as a normal retailer would.
Here's the type of pricing that I am expecting.
At retail without subsidy:
ARM Cortex-A9 Powered Chrome OS notebooks:
- $99 (10.1", 2GB RAM)
- $149 (12.1" or 13.3", 4GB RAM)
Intel Atom Powered Chrome OS notebooks:
- $149 (10.1", 2GB RAM)
- $199 (12.1" or 13.3", 4GB RAM)
Subsidized on 2-year subscription plan:
ARM Powered Chrome OS:
- 10.1", 2GB RAM, Free with $10/month/100mb or $20/month/1GB 3G/LTE data plan.
- 12.1" or 13.3", 4GB RAM, $49 with $10/month/100mb or $20/month/1GB 3G/LTE data plan.
Intel Powered Chrome OS:
- 10.1", 2GB RAM, $49 with $10/month/100mb or $20/month/1GB 3G/LTE data plan.
- 12.1" or 13.3", 4GB RAM, $99 with $10/month/100mb or $20/month/1GB 3G/LTE data plan.
How the 2-year subscription works:
- The $10/month/100mb or $20/month/1GB 3G/LTE data plans can easily get more bandwidth added to them through one-click bandwidth increase option in settings at a rate something like $1/100mb or $10/2GB type of increments, such extra bandwidth could be added and be used during a month after being added for example. Bandwidth addicts might spend a lot of money on a lot of 3G/LTE bandwidth this way.
- Google could sell these Chrome OS plans to Gmail.com and Google Apps users. The ARM Powered Chrome OS notebook might get 1 free hardware upgrade/exchange per year (with 2-year subscription contract extension), the Intel Powered Chrome OS notebook might allow hardware upgrade/exchange per year for a $99 payment (with 2-year subscription contract extension).
- Google might include a bunch of online storage with this subscription, for example 100GB, storage space usable for Gmail, Docs, Picasaweb and other upcoming Google Cloud Storage services. All data on a Chrome OS notebook (as well added through SD card or even USB hard drive) can automatically get synchronized with the Google cloud storage services. More storage can also easily be purchased in a one-click process.
- Also part of this subscription system, Google takes a consumers payment informations, either credit card or even direct bank account informations, and provides one-click shopping solution as well across all Google Checkout services. Thus monetizing more online sales and also making it easier for consumers to buy things online.
Things to consider about Chrome OS:
Consider an ARM Powered Chrome OS is super thin, super light, runs 10-30 hours on a battery depending on without/with Pixel Qi, consider also all Chrome OS laptops have larger screens, better keyboards, faster boot, faster web browsing speed, better web apps support, they are safer to use, unhackable, uncrackable, no virus possible, they are easy to replace as all data is synched on the cloud, but still HTML5 web apps will work offline, including even advanced apps like video and photo editing, they can even support all the most advanced 3D games. Consider also Chrome OS laptops can easily manage offline storage, either built-in, even hard drive slot or external USB storage and SD cards.
What do you think Google's Chrome OS pricing will be like? Post your ideas and suggestions in the comments.
- Google To Sell Chrome OS on a Subscription-Based Model? (thechromesource.com)
- Chrome OS Notebooks: By Subscription? (technologizer.com)
- Google to sell subscriptions to Chrome OS notebooks? (go.theregister.com)
- Google planning $20 Chrome OS hardware subscription option? (geek.com)
- Google to offer ChromeOS notebooks on subscription plan (teleread.com)
- Could A Google Subscription Service For The Chrome Notebook Computer Work? (lockergnome.com)
- Chrome OS Nears Release, But Where are the Netbooks? (pcworld.com)
He might quickly become regarded as greatest inventor/innovator/entrepreneur in the world. A modern Nikola Tesla, a modern Thomas Edison. I think Larry Page wants to be CEO so he can get credited for the amazing things Google is about to release:
- Android powering next 3 Billion smartphones/tablets to be released these next 3 years. Android dominating in tablets is also inevitable.
- Chrome OS about to be released as first real challenger to Windows on Laptops and PC. Advances with native code and 3D browser plugins will enable full desktop performance right inside the browser, offline support and full multimedia support also being there.
- Google TV, first set-top-box to be successful at bringing online video to the TV.
- Google Circles, the first real social network that will actually be more useful than for stalking and following famous people.
- Google Cloud storage expanded, with Google Music as part of the deal, users will be able to store terrabytes of multimedia data on the cloud for cheap.
- Google Books to actually launch, regardless of the publishers lawsuits, Google Books is inevitably just about to revolutionize reading.
- YouTube to take over majority of people's daily TV watching hours. With Google TV as tool, algorithms for a perfect on-demand lean-back experience are coming. YouTube already accounts for more than 50% of worldwide bandwidth usage, but this will only increase. YouTube will likely soon become Google's main source of revenues.
- Most adults might actually be using Google Apps as main tool for collaborative productivity. Google Wave features might get integrated to empower the real-time collaboration.
More revolutions Google might attempt to get to do :
- Revolutionizing the cell carrier industry. They may invest giant sums in developing White Spaces worldwide. To actually create a free wireless broadband network for all. Very disruptive to telcos.
- Revolutionizing fixed line Internet access through proving that cheap Gigabit/s Fiber to the home can get built everywhere worldwide.
- Revolutionizing energy production, helping to prove that solar, wind, geothermal can be built and used for cheaper than coal and nuclear energy.
- Revolutionizing education, through establishing more of the Khan Academys, enabling talented teachers get their teachings out to students worldwide simply through clever video production.
Sure, Larry Page will probably be humble and say that the work was actually done by the more than 24'000 Phd engineers working at Google. Yet he will be the CEO while all these things get released, upgraded and implemented. Having co-founded the company, he might just as well want to be in charge when all these new products are launched. I also think that he might know about the potential trouble that his competing companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others might get by not being positioned effectively in the cloud computing world. If somehow Google turns out to the be the last Silicon Valley giant standing through the next potentially upcoming bubble, it will make him look even more impressive.
You can also see my post on the day they announced that Larry Page was going to be the CEO: What Google should do. Now.
What do you think Larry Page will do as CEO of Google starting today?
Yesterday, Gianfranco Lanci was fired (or resigned) as CEO of Acer. The official reason is that the board of Acer now thinks that they need to stop being a Wintel company and become more of an ARM/Linux embedded devices company.
This is part of the big wave of change in the industry that is happening across the whole range of ex-Wintel-exclusive laptop makers such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Toshiba and even Asus. All are moving away from Windows/Intel, and into rapidly re-focusing on making ARM and embedded Linux/Unix based devices. Here's the reason why and Apple has been the biggest exemplification of this:
- ARM and Linux can bring much larger profit margins to these companies. Instead of making 10-20% profit margins selling Intel powered laptops, these giants can make upwards 300% profit margins selling ARM Powered devices, like Apple does between the $150 BOM and $600 retail/consumer sales price of the iphone. The difference in profit margins are huge! ARM enables better distribution of profits among supply chain participants. In Apple's case, their profit margins are 10x larger selling ARM Powered devices compared to the companies trying to compete in the Windows/Intel world.
Differentiation and design:
- ARM and Linux offers plenty more options, the giants of device making can put their engineers to work for the first time, in designing innovative, diversified and differentiated devices, to implement new amazing technology and at the same time have the possibility to aim at making a very significant fashion statement in the innovative designs that become possible. Apple is the ultimate example of this, their ipod/iphone/ipad are regarded as fashion examples, and the possibilities to set new trends opens up to everyone else in the industry. This is why the ARM and embedded code based product innovations are changing and improving much faster than Windows/Intel products. A giant of manufacturing always wants to be in control of their differentiation options, and not be locked into very limited reference designs and rules required to make Windows/Intel based products.
How hard is it to focus more on ARM? As previous anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft and Intel have shown, these companies try to enforce exclusive relationships with other big players in the industry. They go as far as to use predatory tactics, dumping price on components, dumping price on licences, in exchange for exclusivity and they do what they can to block out of the competition from gaining any significant market share. But ARM/Linux is reaching a point of leadership.
So it will be a very hurtful and perhaps violent moment when giants like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, all one after the other announce more and more devices based on ARM and free software such as Android, Google TV and Chrome OS, it hurts Intel and Microsoft. So while these ex-Wintel-exclusive giants don't want to make it look like the start of a nasty divorce, they still feel forced to make the transition, and so you see them all bringing more and more devices, until like with Apple, more than 60% of their revenues and profits suddenly comes from ARM Powered devices, and until they suddenly all come to their senses and realize that ARM is the place to be, and they invest most of their R&D in creating differentiation in that ARM Powered world.
That does not mean nobody wants to make Windows/Intel laptops anymore. It just means everybody spends much more effort to make much more profits in bringing differentiated product designs in the ARM Powered world.
- Wintel is dead, long live ARMdroid (armdevices.net)
- Acer DX241H, 24″ Monitor, Freescale i.MX51 Powered, comes with Chrome OS pre-installed? (armdevices.net)
- New Acer will be more like Apple, less like HP (engadget.com)
- Acer Sets Sights on Apple, HTC After Lanci Chase of HP Stumbles (businessweek.com)
- Acer pledges efforts to rebound amid slowing sales (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
I just got off the phone with Arianna Huffington. She likes what I do and has asked me to be the new Editor in Chief at Engadget.com effective immediately.
I told her I will do it under one condition, that they agree to rename Engadget.com to ARMdevices.net, all visitors going to the previous Engadget.com will be automatically redirected to the more future-proof ARMdevices.net brand instead.
Under my command, the site will only feature Benchmarks and Funny Videos. I believe that snarky news items are a waste of time. Any Engadget editor who owns an iPhone, who knows someone who owns an iPhone or who has been in an Apple Store during the previous 6 months will be fired.
100% of the posts will be ARM related, 10% of which will be Archos and ARM related, as I believe Archos is the best company in the world. Any negativity towards Google will not be tolerated, let them close Honeycomb and ban emulators if they want!
If anyone has a problem with this, you can send me an email.
Here I'm being interviewed with Arianna Huffington at the announcement event this morning here in Davos:
There has been some talk about Google's decision to delay the Honeycomb source code release. If Google releases Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS source codes within a month, then all this will be forgotten. Sure sure, M$/NOK will make Bingdroid, HP will make Webdroid, and RIM is making Playdroid.
It is OK if Google enforces rules on Google Marketplace and the Google Apps to demand a one-click search engine or social network change, meaning the Bingdroids cannot lock users into only using Bing but that it must be a one click easy process to change the search engine to Google as default if that is what the user wants. Same thing with the Facedroids, one click should be available to move contacts out of Facebook.
It is great if Google's purpose starting with Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwidth is to try to regulate the home replacements and manufacturer's custom UI layers. Please make it default to allow the Android bloatware user interfaces to be turned off! I don't mind if manufacturers think they absolutely have to make Touchwiz, Sense, Blur, Rachael or other, but they should all make it an easy to find one click process to restore default UI, they should all provide a one-click Android Vanilla switch.
The main requirement that I think Google has with Android, is that they have to make sure that everyone making Android devices with full native Android Vanilla UI and OS, must be allowed the Google Marketplace, especially the cheap Tablet and Smartphone makers, no absolute need for compass, dual-cameras or any other very specific hardware features, apps in Google Marketplace with very specific hardware requirements (a small minority) can easily be filtered based on the hardware detected.
Google must have teams working closely with all the ARM chip providers, Texas Instruments, Rockchip, Telechips, Samsung, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, VIA, Nvidia and more, and Google has a responsibility to make sure each of those platforms support the full Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS, as soon as they totally open source them in a month or so. That is what I expect Google is doing with their ARM chip provider partners. And that work on deep SoC optimizations level must also be coordinated with each of the serious companies using each of those SoC to bring Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS products to market in the next couple or three months.
If for some reason you hear that Google is not willing to give access to Honeycomb source code to any serious Tablet maker (with a reputation of releasing tablets that can be trusted, no minimum company size) or to any of these chip makers, that could be scandalous and would have to be brought to the attention of the blogosphere, so in case you hear about any of those cases please post in the comments or send me an email to email@example.com so that I can try to understand who gets access to the Honeycomb source code, when and exactly how.
Some people (especially Apple fanboys) have been complaining that Honeycomb tablets supposedly only have 100 apps HD tablet optimized yet. Those people should also mention that about 90% of the 250'000 Android apps are built with Android 1.6 Donut SDK or newer, and since then, most Android apps are built to scale to medium density screens, which means they work fine on tablets. That actually means, the number of apps that work fine on Android tablets is more something like 220'000 apps, more and more of which are being re-optimized for more than 800x480, yet still most of those scale to 1024x600 or 1280x800 just fine.
Also, I believe the goal of Google is to implement future versions of Android, perhaps including Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich already with a new system that auto-upgrades even the core parts of the OS, meaning that once devices are ready to ship with Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, they may never really need to be firmware updated by the manufacturer, that core Android system upgrades could be done automatically and securely through the Google Marketplace. That would be a very deep anti-fragmentation move, and that would mean that all future Android devices would all be automatically future-proof.
- Honeycomb source code and CDD delayed (armdevices.net)
- Honeycomb will work on cheaper tablets! (armdevices.net)
- What Google should do. Now. (armdevices.net)
- Arnova 10, $199 10.1" Android Tablet (armdevices.net)
- Google puts Android on lock-down: Non-fragmentation contracts, standardized ARM chips, more (slashgear.com)
- Google tightening control of Android, insisting licensees abide by 'non-fragmentation clauses'? (engadget.com)
A Humans to Mars mission might cost as little as $30 Billion. Google has $40 Billion in the bank, Apple has $50 Billion in the bank, Microsoft has $80 Billion in the bank. Intel has $50 Billion in the bank. IBM has $100 Billion in the bank. HP has $110 Billion in the bank. Dell has $30 Billion in the bank. Cisco has $70 Billion in the bank. Oracle has $50 Billion in the bank.
Google should announce tomorrow that they invest $5 Billion in the Mars Direct 2016 mission (3 years ago, they made fun of the idea in the Google Mars Mission April 1st joke), $2.5 Billion now to Space X to develop the heavy-lift within 3 years. Google would publicly ask Microsoft and Apple to join in and each also invest $5 Billion in this. They can argue for it to their shareholders by saying 1) they can monetize the new patents that come of it 2) they can get each 1/3rd of all the advertising that can comes out of 7 years of live HD video streaming of the whole project. The number of years that this project will be under development, then launch and the 2.5 years of travel for the first crews. The live HDTV broadcast can be sent all over the world, they can recoup their investments just from the TV and live streaming advertising.
So now you've got $15 Billion from private US tech companies. The other $15 Billion can get paid like this, $3 Billion from EU, $3 Billion from China, $2 Billion from India, $1 Billion from Brazil/Japan/South Korea, $3 Billion from the US (Obama can do his Mars speech) and $3 Billion from the oil-rich Middle-east. The project would be an international technological collaboration, like the CERN LHC project, instead of a race.
Here are some of the reasons why I think US Silicon Valley companies should get bold and announce the financing of a major mission to send humans to Mars with 5-10 years:
1. These tech companies want to attract more scientists and engineers. The big investments means they can for example expand their R&D and combine it more with NASA.
2. These tech companies made unreasonably large amounts of profits these past few years and decades. If they all agree to spend the same large amount on this mission, that would not place one in disadvantage against the other in terms of how much of their cash is being spent. They owe it to society to give back at least for the scientific enthusiasm that it would generate for the world.
3. Those are basically investments in educations and universities. By those being US investments they would invest in US universities, all the Government has to do would be to open up for that H1B visa for all scientists and engineers from China and India coming in to work on that project.
4. The US army spends $1 Billion per day, for the price of just 4 days of war, they can fund their share of the worlds biggest scientific project, and arguably such a project can help to bring peace, as Humans can think bigger, look up to space, and think about life instead of fighting meaningless wars over limited natural resources.
Why am I a long time supporter of the Humans to Mars project and member of the Mars Society?
- I believe it's worth looking for fossils or proof of previous life on Mars, would explain a great deal about why life appeared on Earth. This is the most fundamental question for Humans and should be the most important question to try to answer.
- Just the work put into the project will bring us new technologies to solve our Energy and Pollution problems.
- It will help solve our political problems, would be the strongest message for peace.
- Robots on Mars are awesome, but in 1 day, a Human Geologist on Mars can walk around and look through as much ground as the Mars Rovers did in the last 6 years. The only way we can realistically look for proof of life on Mars is by sending Geologists on the ground there and have them look for fossils and other proof over the period of 1 and a half years, which is the minimum time they would have to stay there anyways before being able to fly back to the earth, then it takes 6 months each way.
What do you think about the idea to send Humans to Mars as soon as possible? And why couldn't the richest tech companies and billionaires not pay a significant part of it to get things going much sooner than politicians and their 4-year election cycles care to invest in on the longer term.