I thought Google or Facebook would be the ones to buy Skype, after reading some news on the web to that effect. So, I was rather surprised to hear that Microsoft was in the fray and has now closed a deal.
Google has been historically an integrative force, breaking down silos with web search. It is then quite frustrating to see them creating walled gardens. One example, a total lack of a VoIP offering for iOS. Google Voice, currently for US customers only, does not count. It is sad to see them get so big that they don’t offer their wares across all the different platforms they could. In the process, they refuse to learn, and start marching towards being marginalized to a particular niche. I hate to think that that niche for Google is Android, it is too small compared to web search.
Here’s a list of Google services that could be everywhere (especially on iOS):
- Chrome – I wouldn’t mind using Chrome on the iPad, more so if it allowed Flash. I know Apple may not approve of such an app, but it may be worth a try.
- Google Maps – We need offline maps on Smartphones, all of them, not just Android. Not all of us can use Android because we want to, company policy can be one hindrance.
- Google Reader – I rediscovered this after adding the Google Reader Notifier extension to Chrome. It would be so much more useful if it worked offline, on any smartphone.
- Google Talk – Could be a fine competitor to Skype, Viber and such. I wonder what Google achieved by acquiring Gizmo5, besides shutting it down.
- Google Voice – Come on Google, the whole world needs this. If it cannot be made to work all over the world, make something worthy of competing with Skype.
If I were to summarize the above, my message to Google would be: don’t ignore apps on non-Android devices, make your services omnipresent.