I spent today at the Google I/O developer conference. Fun Fact: Google claims it stands for Innovation and Open. Day one (unfortunately only able to attend one day) had two main themes: one was about the web, the other about the cloud. Big implications for both.
The Web, including HTML5, video and a web app store:
- Lots of demos of HTML5 web app capabilities including Darkroom, clicker.com (and their new 10 foot UI clicker.tv) and a really slick sports magazine by Sports Illustrated that looks like it was made for an Ipad. Drag and drop into Gmail, and of course lots of video. The goal was to demonstrate how rich HTML5 apps can be. Very rich indeed.
- WebM as a new web media initiative (my assumption about the M) was announced and its main component is the VP8 codec. As was widely speculated, Google did make VP8 available as open source. As there are issues regarding IP regarding other codecs, VP8 is a good fit for HTML5 video. Mozilla and Opera were on stage to support it. Not coincidentally, Microsoft announced support for it today as well. We’ll see what Apple will do.
- Adobe was also on stage showing new features of Dreamweaver that make developing HTML5 easier especially on different form factor screens. In addition, they announced that VP8 will be built into the Flash player and hinted that we’ll see more Flash stuff tomorrow. I have been expecting to see Google and Adobe get much closer so tomorrow could be very interesting. Flash represents a way for Google to transition from native mobile apps (eg Android) to the eventual pure web that they envision.
- The Chrome web store was also announced. This is the sleeper announcement. Missing from the web has been a way for people to find apps and for developers to distribute them and monetize them. Google is looking beyond advertising monetization models and for now is focusing this on html5 web apps for Chrome and ChromeOs, free and paid apps. Today it is not focused on mobile, but IMHO just a matter of time. And will be one of the keys to adoption and acceptance of mobile web apps as a viable option, not just native web apps.
The other main theme was “Bringing the cloud to the enterprise”.
- First, VMware CEO Paul Maritz talked about Cloud portability and the role that Java, specifically the Spring framework, can play here. Through technologies that VMware acquired from Springsource, it has begun to drive Spring as a viable way to develop Java apps for the cloud. It spans not only the new version of Google App Engine (for business) but also its recently announced VMForce joint venture with Salesforce.com, as well as private clouds running Vsphere and other public clouds running Vcloud. VMware is posed to fill the void in enterprise cloud leadership. While there are certainly cloud leaders in general (e.g., Google, Amazon), there are no natural enterprise leaders. Microsoft is trying, but it is early.
- GAE for business was also announced as an enterprise focused offering that takes GAE and adds the spring framework support along with management tools, SLAs, SSL, a SQL database, and revised pricing. The pricing model derives more from Google Apps (SaaS-style subscription vs. IaaS-style ‘pay as you go’ which is how GAE (non-business) is priced. It is interesting that this pricing model was talked about, whereas for VMForce, it was not finalized. I view this as an indicator that the SaaS subscription model will be more popular for “PaaS” style offerings such as GAE.
Clearly big news on both fronts. More to come. Oh and more tomorrow but I’ll have to get it second hand.
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