The prospects of a `thermonuclear war’ breaking out between two technology giant, Google and Apple, look less likely at least from the search giant’s perspective. Acknowledging both companies as phenomenally innovative and Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs as an inspiration in the Silicon Valley, Google’s senior vice president and Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora, said, “from our perspective there’s no thermonuclear war.” The reference originated from Jobs stated `willingness to go on thermonuclear war’ on Google Android software, saying that its features amounted to ‘grand theft’. On a day that Google announced its most ambitious India strategy, giving online presence to 500,000 small and medium enterprises, ET met up with Arora to discuss the emerging online world, how technology is helping shape opinions, the long debate between content generators seeing Google as an enemy and more. Arora, who joined Google in 2004, overseas all revenue and customer operations of Google. Excerpts:
At the ongoing AdAsia, you spoke about the online and offline worlds blurring. How will this happen? What role will Google play in this?
There are many different technological themes going on, we have always talked about divergence and convergence. We all carry multiple devices. More divergence is happening now. You will download something on a phone, a computer, music on iPad. We are all living in a semi cloud state, my email is on the cloud and I am able to access it on any device. My music is on multiple devices.
My content and books are shared on multiple devices. My pictures, on Picasa, are up on the cloud. It is much more convenient for me to live on the cloud, and access it on whichever device I want, in some cases I download it or save. For me that line of online and offline is beginning to blur. As connectivity becomes better, ubiquitous broadband is available to all, you will notice that distinction is going to vanish.
What does a user of Google services on cloud get today?
You have to keep personalising it. You have email, pictures on cloud, books if on Kindle (these are downloaded, not on cloud). There’s logically no reason that should be the case (not being on the cloud). I watch lot of movies in flights that are stored on hard disks, I wish they were on the cloud.
Over a period of time our desire for digital information to be on the cloud will increase. And that will require simple devices and simple user interfaces. It would also require companies to play multiple parts. So what’s Google’s role?
Google has Google apps, Gmail, Android and Chrome, enterprise solutions for cloud as pieces of software that help people get on the cloud. These are designed for cloud, for the online world. Android is designed for an online world on the phone, in the most effective way. YouTube (online video sharing site) is out there in the cloud. All our services are on the cloud.