If you've been looking for a review of the Motorola Droid from the perspective of the average geek, check out a friend of mines review here. I worked with Andy at a previous company and he is both an excellent Network Administrator and writer, so I hope you enjoy it!
Entries in google (5)
That seems to be a question many people are asking. No, you aren't going crazy, at least not in noticing this change. Google made the search input box larger, and also made the search suggestions that drop down while you are typing in your query a much larger font. I'm not exactly sure why Google didn't put a notice up on the main page explaining this change, perhaps they didn't think people would notice or care. People do care though, I have heard a few people at work wondering out loud WTF was going on. I would have been in the same boat, but thankfully I had read a post on the Google Blog explaining that the change was coming, so I could just cackle with knowing glee :).
Many small and mid-sized businesses are re-evaluating their email service. In the past, the de-facto email standard was Microsoft Exchange installed on a Windows server that you hosted in house. In the past couple of years, many new options have emerged and are being considered seriously by small business. The two major competitors in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market are Google Apps and Microsoft Hosted Exchange.
Why hosted email?
Before we can get into the pros and cons of Google Apps and Hosted Exchange, we first have to examine why people are moving over to hosted email in the first place. I think it is safe to say that most users expect email to work ALL the time. For small companies with a small or non-existent IT department, providing a service with 99.9% uptime is fairly difficult and expensive. Anytime that there is a disruption in service, such as the server going down or being compromised, the IT admin has to scramble to get everything up. Any downtime whatsoever results in extremely unhappy users and an exhausted and stressed IT admin. Another big issue for expanding companies is scalability and how much it costs to do that scaling.
How does hosted email solve this problem?
A hosted email solution with a reputable company offers extremely reliable email service without all of the head aches and costs. Scalability is a non-issue, as a company like Google or Microsoft is already handling hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of email accounts. Keeping their system up and running is something that both take extremely seriously, and pump millions of dollars and very talented engineering into. Basically, economies of scale allows these large companies to provide a better email service at a cheaper price.
Android Doomed From The Start?
It seems like many in the blogosphere (why can't it be a cube?) are already dismissing Android as failed. For example, Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo says in this post:
I know. It seems like a dumb problem. But it is an obvious one. This is one of their main promotional images—which incidentally shows a T-Mobile G1 with a screen that seems to be broken, something which is bad enough on its own—and they failed to get it right. The problem with the clocks would have never escaped Apple's ferocious attention to detail, but it is not the image itself that's so troubling. It is what it symbolizes, what is missing at Android's most fundamental level: Attention to detail.The picture he is talking about is this one:
The problem with the clocks that he is talking about is that the digital clock in the top right says 2:47 but the "analog" clock shows a time of a little after 9:00.
So what else is wrong?As he goes on in the article he talks about some more things that caught his eye that are not up to par, such as changes to the text in the UI that make no sense. Still, his main thrust seems to be that Google put out a promotional image that has a stupid mistake in it and that this means that the platform as a whole will be unpolished. He may very well be right, although I couldn't say as I have yet to get my hands on a G1.
If he is right about the lack of polish, that still does not doom the platform to fail. Google is taking the handheld market extremely seriously, many analysts think that the handset market could soon become a huge source of revenue for the company. If this were just another Google product, like say Dodgeball, I might be inclined to agree that this could be dead on arrival. But it is not. Google needs to continue to grow to keep investors happy, and mobiles are the next logical step. They have already put a lot of resources behind this, does Mr. Diaz honestly think they won't work on improving the product?
I haven't even mentioned how Android is open source, so that developers can completely skin and theme the OS to their liking and then release it in the marketplace so that others can also use it. Google isn't afraid of open source, they are going to embrace the amazing things that developers will pull off, and it will only make the platform better and better over time. Google will be able to polish to its heart content once the developer community takes off, much like Canonical is able to put most of their work into polishing Ubuntu due to the hard work of the Debian developers.
Android has a big, bright future ahead of it. Mark my words (just not with a sharpie on your screen!).