Browser vs. Screen

From John Gruber (emphasis mine):

This is a fundamentally different vision for the coming decade than Google’s. In both cases, your data is in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere with a network connection. But Google’s vision is about software you run in a web browser. Apple’s is about native apps you run on devices. Apple is as committed to native apps — on the desktop, tablet, and handheld — as it has ever been.

Google’s frame is the browser window. Apple’s frame is the screen. That’s what we’ll remember about today’s keynote ten years from now.

Google sells ads – search and the browser make sense for that market. Apple sells apps and devices – appstores and screens make sense for that market.

But doesn’t Google sell apps? And doesn’t Apple sell ads? Yes, but neither is very enthusiastic about it.

Gruber’s commentary is succinct and right on.

But what about Facebook? They sell ads, too, and Facebook’s frame is the browser window. But Facebook also has device-native apps, so their frame is the screen too.

Is Facebook going to get the best of both worlds? Their own ad revenue built on the backs of Google’s browser and Apple’s screens?

Google closing Austin office

It seems like just yesterday Google was celebrating the opening of their new office in downtown Austin, Texas – actually, it was mid-October, 2008, according to the Austin American Statesman (google has the story in their cache, but the Statesman’s link doesn’t work).

But today Google announced that they are closing the Austin office, along with offices in Trondheim, Norway and Lulea, Sweden, in order to “build larger and more effective teams, reduce communication overhead, and give engineers increased options for future projects” :

Google says they’ll try to keep people from those sites at Google, but of course the employees would have to move to larger Google sites.  That makes sense for Google in terms of managing tons of projects, sites and people, but that’s a real bummer for the Austin Googlers.

Again, from the Statesman:

“We really do like Austin, we like the engineers in Austin, we like the town, we like the geography, but there just wasn’t any way in the short term or medium term to really grow the office to the size that Austin deserves,” [said Alan Eustace, Google senior vice president of engineering].

Hopefully Austin tech companies can pick up some good talent from those who don’t want to leave Austin.