Bluescreen: Alex Kidman satirises the tech industry crashing more than a few kernels along the way.
Google today announced a new product offering to add to its already bulging portfolio of Search News Newsgroups YouTube Blogs Office Earth Maps and the newly launched Google Health. Not to mention Google Plum Pudding*. But this is a product with a twist; this is Google Nothing.
“Google Nothing is the logical conclusion of our quest for niche products. We’d consistently pushed the envelope when it came to features our customers weren’t in fact looking for ranging from more email storage capacity than the entire Pentagon needs per user to things like Google Earth.” an un-named contact told Bluescreen.
He’s un-named by the way thanks to Google HideTracks another application that scours the Internet and removes all trace of your presence. So far only the Chinese Government has been interested in HideTracks Technology and all rights to the software (along with all the source code) are heading to Beijing “just in time for the Olympics” we were told.
“I mean Google Earth is nice for checking out the car your neighbours had three years ago when the pictures were snapped but who uses it seriously? And don’t even get me started on why we actually bought YouTube.”
The other factor that led to the creation of Google Nothing was the company’s famous “Do No Evil” motto. “This presented us with a problem” our source told us. “Ever since the IPO we’ve been stuck under US corporate law. Anything we did that was identifiably evil could lead to a class action lawsuit or even worse a dip in the stock price. We racked our brains to come up with a new product or service we could engage in that couldn’t be identified as evil even across language and cultural boundaries. In the end we came up with nothing.“
Google Nothing will be offered from tomorrow for anyone using any of Google’s services. It requires at least a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM to run smoothly although our source indicated that if the recent popularity of low-cost ultraportables such as the Eee PC 900 continued a cut-down version dubbed “Nothing Less” would be made available.
“We anticipate user takeup to be in the 80-90% range simply because it’s got a Google logo on it” our source told us. Google Nothing doesn’t actually do anything it should be noted except for display a seasonally-adjusted Google Logo along with whatever unsold ad inventory Google has on hand that day. It runs as a permanently full-screen application with no quit functionality also fulfilling another long-term Google aspiration; replacing the operating system entirely.
â¨”We view Google Nothing as a real breakthrough in customer satisfaction not to mention profit generation for our stockholders” Bluescreen was told. “If the customer sees a Google Advertisement for something he or she likes and clicks on it a browser window will open behind the application. Google Nothing can’t be minimised however so nothing will appear to happen; we’ve found that many consumers don’t actually like ads.“
The current version of Google Nothing (version 0.0.0) requires Windows (XP or Vista) to run. Bluescreen enquired with our source as to whether a version for Mac OS X would be forthcoming and was told “Macs present Google with a big liability problem. Steve Jobs has already cornered the market on offering products with nothing added in the way of value or functionality and what’s more he’s even found a way to monetize that nothing — just look at the Black Macbook for example. We’re just thankful he’s not thought of patenting the nothing yet.“
Steve Jobs was said to be infuriated by Google’s comments with one representative (who wished to remain nameless) commenting to Bluescreen that Apple had long held the line of offering up “nothing” in the way of information to everybody before any product launches Furthermore we were told Apple’s customers were already seasoned users of nothing. Our sources offered up the fact that there was a large queue outside Apple’s New York store for most of last week and most of the customers were it turned out queuing for exactly nothing.
While on the official record Apple continued to hide behind its solidly engraved “Apple does not comment on rumour and speculation” sign our Apple inside source led Bluescreen know that the company plans to counter-offer against Google nothing by announcing the so-called “iPod Zero” a music player with neither storage nor interface. It’s expected in two colours with prices starting at $US650. Australian pricing was expected to be at least double that.
* Because there is no such thing as Google Plum Pudding. Yet.