Google co-founder Sergey Brin has quashed speculation that the giant ad broker is to introduce a web-based Office suite.
"We don't have any plans," he told Web 2.0 conference organizer John Battelle (pictured below). However Brin left the door open a little. Documents would be easier to work with in the future, he promised, but he didn't think a fat client was the way to go.
"I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly," he told Battelle. However distributed thin web applications allowed you to do "new and better things than the Office package and more."
It puts the end to a week of feverish speculation prompted on Monday by an announcement that Sun and Google were going to team up to do something ... er, really, really big.
In the end, the only news was the disclosure that Sun would bundle Google's Toolbar in its Java RunTime download.
But, was that really all?
Google book author Battelle himself cogitated for 30 hours before delivering his verdict.
In a post entitled Google-Sun - The Toolbar, Ay, There's the Rub - he pondered: "Seems the push is on to get more Toolbars downloaded," following up with the slightly more confident: "And now, I see why Google is doing this Sun deal. It's the Toolbar, of course!" ... and concluded with the emphatic: "In other words, Google really, really wants more Toolbar distribution."
You can't sneak anything past this guy.
Cynics suggested that the deal had more to do with bumping up Sun stock price - and trying to crash the Exchange scheduling server up in Redmond - than anything concrete. If that was the intention, at least one part of the strategy worked: NASDAQ sensors had detected a pulse in the moribund SUNW stock by Monday afternoon.
However, we have heard that there are parts of the Sun Google tie-up that so far haven't been publicly disclosed. And these are far more significant. We can't confirm the authenticity of any these details, but apparently the deal includes -
- Free Segway rides for Mr Schwartz, but no more than 10 minutes at a time
- Mr Schmidt's old parking spot to be restored to its former glory, with new inscription "Extra Special Visitor"
- Mr Schmidt undertakes to stop making "I divested more last week than you earned last year" gags on golf course
- With 28 days notice, Sun is permitted non-exclusive use of Mr Senor for duties including, but not limited to, skull-crushing and other motivational tactics during next RIF program
- Mr McNealy to return, and never mention again, gift of "I wasted my first bubble at Novell!" T-shirt
- Google and Sun Microsystems to launch joint "There's No Such Thing As Privacy - Get Over It™" awareness campaign
So there you have it. Not of a word of that is true - but feel free to speculate anyway in 4,500 word blog post headlined "Google's Next Move" which includes pointless speculation containing the words "global operating system" "breathtakingly audatious" "rewiring the planet" and "StarFleet Command". ®
Picture credit: John C Dvorak