Friday's launch of Motorola's Droid phone will be monumental for any number of reasons, not the least of which it's an incredibly cool device that should enjoy immediate popularity in the marketplace.
But it's also the latest marker to come out of Google's Mountain View, Calif.-based headquarters in the area of communications strategy -- a strategy that within years could very well vault it into place as the top telecommunications player anywhere.
Not only will Droid make the Google-driven Android 2.0 mobile operating system immediately a force to be reckoned with (it's only had muted support in the market to date), but combined with the growing interest and functionality in Google Voice and the company's other products and capabilities, Google will have soup-to-nuts offerings in the area of text, voice and video communications.
Android 2.0: The mobile operating system Google has brought into the world has an uphill fight to catch up to Apple's iPhone OS and ecosystem -- but, then again, it doesn't have to catch up. Android 2.0 will act as a key enabler that could eventually link all of Google's communications offerings together into a single handheld device.
Google Voice: This application has been very, very slow to launch in a broad-based format and you still need either an invitation or permission from Google to gain access. But once there, users find that Google Voice is a powerful application that connects all of a user's voice and SMS contact points into a single place. Whether on a desktop, notebook, netbook or smartphone (with the exception of the iPhone platform), Google Voice becomes a virtual communications hub for individuals.
Google Talk:This has yet to displace AOL Instant Messaging as the IM format for the masses, but its elegant connection of text IM, voice and video -- as well as extension functionality with Gmail -- means it's going to stick around for a while.
Combined, Google's products and technologies are rapidly transforming it into the communications services company. At this rate, by 2012 Google will have capabilities and offerings that will far surpass anything in the market now and could very well have today's communications giants eating out of the palm of its hand. Everything you need for voice and data communications could come from one company.
The official launch of the Droid by Motorola shouldn't be considered a touchdown for the Android 2.0 operating system, it should be considered a first down. And Google is driving down the field with the wind at its back.