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Google’s real challenge is emerging

August 29, 2010

Challenge!

Every one knows Google is the number one web information searching company. Google will very likely be the number one in the searching market for the next many years.

However, the real challenge of Google is emerging. The challenge is from the weak Mobile searching market. Google of course has a long vision in the mobile market. It bought, built, and extended the Android operating system. The great and right thing done by Google is that it open sourced the Android. Now the Android operating system has already overtaken the iPhone operating system.

The success of Android does not mean Google has cleared the challenge it has for mobile device based information search. The emerging challenge of information search is that users do not search as much on a mobile device as they do on the PC.

Why I dare to say this?

One critical weakness of mobile phone is the relative small screen size and inconvenience of the touch keyboard. Typing on the mobile phone is still a challenge for many people. Users do not like typing too much on the mobile device.

(1) The assumption of information search, at least for now, is that users have to type and then search. If users do not want to type, search is not really practical anymore. Google has created voice based search, however the voice search technique is not sufficiently sophisticated to be used on a daily basis.

(2) Information search is frequently driven by the need of work. Mobile device is not really ideal to be used as a working platform yet.

(3) Many websites are solely designed for PC but not for mobile devices. It is a headache for users to view the non-mobile version website on the mobile device. How to present an easy navigate mobile website is still very challenging to resolve.

How Google can resolve this challenge?

The very simple way to solve this challenge is to gradually transform the Android platform to a fully web based operating system like ChromeOS. By doing this, the mobile device operating system in its default is a web browser. Search then becomes a more typical and built-in task.

I will keep observing, thinking, and proposing solutions for this.

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