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Google considers opening its platform

Outside developers want in
Mon Nov 10 2008, 15:52

GOOGLE COULD BE mulling a move which would allow outside developers to play around with the firm’s development stack, according to comments by Google exec, Dave Girouard at a Web 2.0 Summit panel in San Francisco on Friday.

Speaking on "The Platform Advantage" panel, with other big names from the world of web 2.0 - including CEO Mark Benioff, VMWare's Paul Maritz and Adobe's Kevin Lynch - Girouard, president of Google's enterprise division noted Google had a long term goal of opening up to outside developers.

"We want to open up the Google stack, the Google platform in many, many ways, and in the end if we do it right, you will have the same access to Google that our own developers do” said Girouard.

Although Girouard didn’t go into specifics, his statement has interesting and exciting implications. Girouard’s comments could be taken to mean tht outside developers will soon be able to try their hands at building their own Google apps, or adding bits and pieces to existing Google apps. It could also lead to better customisation, and even revenue generating models like Google app stores, similar to Apple’s Iphone platform.

Of course, such a move is ripe to the point of almost being overdue. A few weeks ago even Microsoft, the bastion of secrecy and closed source, opened its services to outside developers with its cloud computing initiative, Azure.

Apple also lets the developer community play with its platform, although the firm does retain a good measure of control over the process.

Of course, only time will tell what Girouard actually meant in real terms, but if Google is serious about opening up, the future of the Internet can only get more interesting from here out.

Video of the panel (Girouard’s comments at 10 minute mark)


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