"It's a GoogleWorld..."
"... The second inflection point this week was made by Google with its Google Web Accelerator. The company has generally downplayed the Accelerator as simple research -- a test that required a few thousand users. But it is much more than that. First, Google hasn't yet announced a beta, and then changed its mind about what it's beta testing. Every Google service that has begun as a beta turns eventually into an official extension of the Googleplex. Froogle, their comparison buying service, isn't going away, nor are image and video search or GMail. The same goes for this Google Web Accelerator.
"The application itself isn't anything new. It is precisely like the Web Page Accelerator (WPA) application that was the key component of the old Starband satellite broadband service I used for awhile when I lived out in the wilds of Sonoma County. WPA was intended to overcome the inevitable latency of that 89,200 mile double round trip required to fetch any web page over the geosynchronous satellite connection. It did this by anticipating the user's next page request and delivering that in advance in a compressed form. For every Starband (and DirecWay) user, there is a proxy session at the satellite downlink location utilizing more computing power than the Starband or DirecWay user probably has on the desktop being served.
"The only differences between WPA and Google's Accelerator is the lack of a satellite, and Google's willingness to offer the service ultimately to any Internet user. This is an absolutely brilliant strategy -- brilliant both because of the staggering technology effort it represents and brilliant because it promises -- as does any inflection point -- to change things forever.
"Think about the scale of Google's eventual effort here. With efficient caching, let's say that Google can get away with devoting half the power of the average home computer to each active user. In the U.S. that's 200 million users, though of course they aren't all active at once. But there will be worst-case moments every week when a lot of them are active at once, so I'd plan for 60 million simultaneous users, which means 30 million desktop equivalents, which has to be vastly more than Google's present 200,000+ servers offer. No wonder there has been all this talk about Google buying-up dark fiber. They are going to need it.
"But why? Why spend all this money, make this heroic effort, just to make web surfing twice as fast? The first reason is because Google can do it. The company likes big stretches like this. The second reason is because everybody else CAN'T do it. The technology required is so breathtaking and audacious that even a Microsoft or IBM wouldn't dare to try it and certainly Yahoo won't. The best Yahoo can hope for is that Google fails, which they probably won't. And the final reason for doing this is because it co-opts every ISP and web page owner. If surfing can be doubled in speed for nothing, of course nearly everyone will go for it. But that means every AOL customer becomes a de facto Google customer and this page becomes a de facto Google service that costs them nothing to produce."To change things forever." Please tell me that with this article you at last begin to understand the opportunity inherent in Google/GOOG...
"The big question is where Google will go with this? Will they put ads on this page? Will they eventually put AOL and MSN and Earthlink out of business? Only Google knows. But what I DO know is that the Google Web Accelerator effectively turns every user into a thin client, whether they know it or not. Consider the obvious upshots of this. If Google adds power to its part of the Accelerator, you don't have to add power to your end, meaning your old PC can last longer. Part of that has to come from Google assuming a larger role over time, taking responsibility for rendering Flash, for example. And they'll do it. And we'll let them. At some point, Google might even offer its own hardware device, optimized for the Accelerator. At that point, you'll buy your PC from Google, use Google as your ISP, surf an Internet that is really the Google cache, be fed ads and sold content from Google servers. Its a GoogleWorld that requires no AOL, no Microsoft, no Intel, no HP or Dell -- only Google, cable companies, telephone companies, users, and of course advertisers and web page producers.
"There is no going back..."