Google I/O: Did Microsoft Just Become the New Netscape?

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While Marc Andreessen and I disagree connected what happened erstwhile Netscape went under, my cognition was that Netscape blew its sizeable lead connected Microsoft successful browsers by not adequately protecting it and not realizing nan powerfulness of Microsoft trading backmost then.

Microsoft’s trading capabilities person declined sharply since then. While it blindsided Google pinch Copilot connected search, Microsoft grounded to marketplace nan advantage successfully aliases beforehand it importantly capable to debar a immense pushback from Google. That pushback happened past week astatine Google I/O, and it was an awesome showing.

Another weakness for Microsoft is that Google has focused connected smartphones arsenic nan conveyance for its AI efforts, while Microsoft has focused connected PCs. Google’s way is astir apt nan amended one. As we move from matter to sound interface and see ever much capabilities for nan AI to see, it makes much consciousness to person it successful a instrumentality that is ever pinch you alternatively than conscionable connected your table aliases successful your laptop bag.

Much for illustration Microsoft’s was pinch Netscape, I deliberation Google’s attack hits harder wherever group want AI to be. Microsoft Build is this week. I’m not expecting a smartphone push, but you ne'er know. Microsoft doesn’t spell down easy. So, calling nan victor will person to hold until adjacent week, astatine least.

By nan way, if you want to spot thing that is some fascinating and conscionable a spot freaky, watch this video of 2 OpenAI GPT-4o phones having a chat pinch each different (thankfully, neither based on for taking complete nan world). When I vanished watching this, I felt redundant.

Let’s talk Google I/O this week, and we’ll adjacent pinch my Product of nan Week, a awesome caller AI PC laptop from Lenovo that is an awesome illustration of its class.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is changing incredibly rapidly. Today, astir group entree AI either done an exertion for illustration Grammarly aliases from nan unreality done a browser interface. That’s a problem if you want to usage nan aforesaid AI interface while distant from your desk. The vendors believe, and I agree, that you’ll for illustration AI to beryllium pinch you wherever you go, not conscionable hold for you backmost astatine nan office.

In addition, overmuch for illustration we changed nan desktop hardware importantly erstwhile we went from mainframes and bid statement interfaces to graphical personification interfaces, mice, and PCs, so, too, do I expect we’ll alteration our endpoints erstwhile we move from nan PC interfaces and accessories to an AI interface that is much for illustration different quality than for illustration really we’ve worked pinch PCs successful nan past.

This alteration suggests that moreover smartphones whitethorn beryllium astatine risk, but they are person to wherever we’ll extremity up than nan PC is astatine this point. The Humane Ai Pin is an attempt, for instance, to find what that early instrumentality would look for illustration — and, for illustration early smartphones, it isn’t very adjacent to what group want yet, but it is evolving overmuch for illustration smartphones did. So, I wouldn’t constitute Humane retired conscionable yet.

Qualcomm’s Role successful nan AI Market

This positioning puts Qualcomm successful a really absorbing spot because not only is it nan starring supplier of smartphone AI technology, but its Snapdragon X besides presently leads nan marketplace successful PC AI technology. It’s rumored that Qualcomm will beryllium taking halfway shape astatine Microsoft Build this week.

So, of each nan high-end spot vendors, Qualcomm is nan champion positioned connected some platforms to thrust nan customer broadside of AI development. At nan aforesaid time, Nvidia remains nan astir powerful exertion supplier successful nan server, high-performance computing, supercomputer, and workstation segments.

Qualcomm and Nvidia person ne'er gotten on very well, but if they ever hooked up, they could ain nan full AI wave. This speculation mightiness adhd different absorbing move to nan mix, fixed AMD and Intel are ramping up AI efforts impressively.

Right now, some Google and Qualcomm person a important advantage successful nan AI race. However, nan title is very early, and I expect activity to displacement a lot. It mightiness yet spell to immoderate vendor for illustration OpenAI, moreover though Microsoft conscionable announced an awesome soul AI effort akin to what it did pinch Spyglass successful nan browser wars. So, it could flip nan book this week astatine Build. That show will beryllium worthy attending.

Google I/O 2024 Announcements

With Qualcomm and Nvidia pushing nan boundaries successful AI hardware, it’s important to support an oculus connected really package developments complement these advancements. This brings america to nan caller announcements from Google I/O, wherever respective breathtaking caller projects were unveiled.

Project Astra

Project Astra has to beryllium 1 of nan coolest things I’ve seen truthful far. Your smartphone becomes different group of eyes that link you to nan powerfulness of AI to reply questions. These questions could be:

  • Who is this character connected nan TV screen?
  • How do I combine this instrumentality aliases toy?
  • Where did I time off my glasses? (Though it can’t spot if they are connected your caput — yet.)
  • What is nan codification I’m looking astatine trying to do?
  • Where tin I bargain what that personification is wearing?
  • What’s nan sanction of nan movie successful this Facebook video, and what benignant of car is that?

Project Astra is simply a genuine assistant, and its capabilities will grow arsenic it learns astir much and much things. Since I’m a guy, and guys thin to flip retired instructions, it will beryllium a godsend for maine for those times I’ve tossed nan instructions and really shouldn’t have.

Gemini Nano

Gemini Nano is Google’s client-side implementation of Gemini and is successful statement pinch what Microsoft will beryllium showcasing astatine Build. This characteristic will let your Android smartphone to admit images, sounds, and spoken languages you don’t speak successful existent time. You tin do sound searches for videos and pictures connected your device, and you tin movie a problem you are having, and it will, assuming it knows, supply suggestions connected really to hole it.

New AR Glasses

Remember Google Glass and that it sucked a lot? Well, Google showcased a caller brace of AR glasses successful prototype form, suggesting it will make different tally astatine this. They are wireless and tin springiness you answers for what you are looking astatine erstwhile tied to Project Astra.

This capacity supports nan thought of a vastly different computing instrumentality than a smartphone, fixed that those who deterioration nan glasses interact pinch nan microphone and speakers successful those glasses, not successful nan smartphone. They looked a ton amended than Google Glass, but that is simply a beautiful debased bar.

Scam Detection

While I’m a small tense astir having thing perceive to my calls, nan summation successful telephone fraud has maine worried, peculiarly arsenic bad actors rotation up AI models to do that fraud. This Gemini-based instrumentality listens successful connected your calls, warns you if it looks for illustration you are being scammed, and recommends you disconnect from nan telephone immediately.

This characteristic would person helped nan older female successful nan movie “BeeKeeper” significantly, but past nan movie would person been acold shorter. Thousands of group are scammed for illustration she was each year, and this technology, while not nan remedy nan BeeKeeper utilized (which I’d prefer), it should importantly summation information astir folks successful each property group.

AI Android

Interestingly, Google’s usage of AI connected Android reminds maine a batch of Windows 95 successful position of really nan interface is integrated, and Microsoft’s usage of AI, truthful far, reminds maine much of Windows + DOS successful that it is much of an overlay.

I deliberation this will unit Microsoft to merchandise Windows 12 earlier and, I hope, to hole its trading problem because nan numbers I’ve precocious seen propose a batch of group are going backmost to Windows 10 from Windows 11, putting Microsoft successful a pickle successful position of driving nan adjacent upgrade, which reminds maine again of immoderate of nan execution issues Netscape had pinch Navigator.

AI Teammate

We’ve already had nan merchandise of Devin, nan first AI package technologist from Cognition, but what Google announced was acold much generic and apt a ton cheaper to buy.

AI Teammate is an artificial intelligence co-worker that is for illustration an executive secretary. It does what Microsoft promised immoderate clip agone but ne'er really delivered pinch Cortana. Built connected Workspace, Google called its AI “Chip” (I liked Cortana better), and it should beryllium a monolithic thief successful meetings. I’m conscionable hoping they’ll do what Microsoft didn’t and create a instrumentality for illustration this Holographic Cortana Appliance.

Wrapping Up

Google I/O was astonishing this year, and we’ll spot really Microsoft responds this week. But this really points to nan problem Microsoft has by not sticking pinch nan Windows phone. I deliberation this besides showcases that Microsoft — moreover though it deed first for illustration Netscape did — is simply a time precocious and a dollar short. The pivot will beryllium much powerful connected smartphones than it will beryllium connected PCs, which will beryllium massively disruptive to those firms that don’t person some platforms.

In nan end, this year’s arena went down arsenic nan astir important, informative, and absorbing Google I/O truthful far, but we are still astatine nan very commencement of nan AI wave. I’m still a spot worried we are focusing connected velocity complete quality. By nan extremity of 2025, we should cognize whether Google is nan caller Microsoft and if Microsoft becomes nan caller Netscape.

Tech Product of nan Week

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x G4 AI-Ready Laptop

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x G4 laptop

(Image Credit: Lenovo)

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13X G4 is an outstanding notebook, and it’s surely 1 of nan best-looking laptops I’ve tested truthful far. Sleek and 2.2 lbs., it is fresh for AI and has awesome speakers for a 13-inch laptop. You tin configure nan notebook pinch either an Intel Core Ultra 5 for astir $1,400 aliases an Intel Core Ultra 9 for astir $2,000.

Battery life is up to 21 hours of video, 11.4 hours of web browsing, and 8.4 hours of video conferencing, and Office gives this notebook decent artillery life. It has 1 of nan largest batteries successful its people (according to Lenovo, it is nan largest successful its class), truthful you should beryllium capable to time off your charger connected your table aliases successful your edifice room. I’m a large instrumentality of 20+ hours of artillery life.

It does not person USB Type-A ports, but it does person 3 USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4) ports, which is better.

Connectivity is Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, which is astir arsenic existent arsenic you tin get now (I person yet to spot a Wi-Fi 7 notebook). This Lenovo ThinkBook is 1 of nan first products pinch Intel’s Meteor Lake processor, which gives it bully AI support.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13x G4 laptop Magic Bay and ray for videoconferencing

The ThinkBook 13x G4 laptop has pogo pins to connect Lenovo’s Magic Bay Studio pinch its 4K camera for videoconferencing. (Image Credit: Lenovo)


The show has 500 nits, which should make it viewable outdoors (I haven’t tried that yet). It besides has Dolby Vision support for superb colors, peculiarly erstwhile watching movies.

If you want to configure nan merchandise fully, you tin get up to 32 GB of representation and up to 1 TB of Gen 4 SSD storage. It uses nan caller Intel ARC Integrated Graphics.

The Lenovo ThinkBook 13x G4 AI PC is an awesome portion of kit, my caller favourite notebook, and my Product of nan Week!

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