Google’s New Stuff

It is the season for developer conferences. Two weeks ago I reported on Apple’s developer conference and Apple’s unveiling of the new Macbook Pro product line. Last week it was Microsoft developers conference and the unveiling of the new Microsoft Surface tablet. This week it’s Google’s developer conference where Google unveiled its own tablet called the Nexus 7. While Microsoft’s new Surface tablet competes in price and features with the iPad, the Nexus 7 is more in line with the Kindle Fire, priced at $199 like the Fire but outperforming the Fire in several areas. The Nexus 7 features a 7″ HD display made of strong Corning Gorilla Glass, a 1.2 MP front-facing camera, a quad core Tegra 3 processor, and a 12-core GPU that has gamers drooling. The Nexus 7 will be released later this month running the new Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean.

Google engineers also demonstrated Google’s futuristic augmented reality glasses at the developers conference, providing developers with the opportunity to purchase prototypes for $1500. And if that weren’t enough, Google unveiled a set top box called Nexus Q, which allows viewers to stream content from the cloud using their Android smartphone or tablet. Both the Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus Q set top box integrate with Google Play – Google’s new cloud-based media store providing music, books, magazines, movies, TV shows, apps and games.

Facebook Challenges Google

Competition between Google and Facebook is likely to ramp up this week. Facebook is expected to announce its own email service at the Web 2.0 Summit on Monday. A facebook.com email service would compete directly with gmail.com. Facebook is also challenging Google in the online advertising space. Facebook increased its share of the online ad market in the third quarter up from 18 percent to 23 percent. This week Google blocked Facebook and other Web services from freely accessing its user’s information. Also, an email from Google to its employees was leaked indicating a generous holiday bonus for Google employees plus a ten percent across the board raise in 2011. With 23,000 employees making an average salary of $100,000, the raises will cost Google $233 million annually. Analysts speculate that Google is sweetening the pot in order to keep employees from jumping ship to Facebook.