Just yesterday, Google announced Google Play, a one-stop portal consolidating the Android application store, Google e-book service, Google movies store and Google music store in one place.
Some pundits may have panned it as just a marketing name change, but I think it definitely signals Google’s ambition. They have ratcheted up their rhetoric vs. Apple.
For Singapore, only the paid Android app market is available under Google Play for now. The rest of the services are available mainly only in the US, UK and Canada, and will be rolled out worldwide in the coming months.
Ars Technica did an excellent review of what Google Play is, and Wired did an excellent write-up of how Google Play positions Google vs. Apple.
In fact, looking at both Apple’s iCloud offering and Google Play, is there really a difference in offering (save platform)? Take a look at both of these YouTube ads below and tell me if you can make out a big difference between the two offerings:
Both Apple and Google have their own mobile platforms (iOS and Android). Google bought Motorola Mobility last year to ramp up on the hardware (and as a defensive patent play vs. Apple). Both Google and Apple now have their own content stores serving music, movies and apps to their Android or iOS audiences.
Microsoft is the more distant third wheel in the platform wars, with Windows Mobile (and app marketplace), their partnership with Nokia on the mobile hardware end, and Microsoft Skydrive as their cloud platform.
I would also add Amazon to this mix, who comes in from a different angle on the content and retail distribution side of things. Amazon’s strength is in their storefront, a hardware mobile device to stream content (Kindle), and also a consumer cloud solution (Amazon Cloud Drive). The only thing they don’t have is their own software platform stack, which could be a weakness.
In any case, take a look at the YouTube video below on Amazon Cloud Drive and tell me how different it is from the videos above.
Amazon Cloud Drive
To me, it is shades of the same as the big software and content companies jockey for position in the consumer cloud wars.
And it will be interesting to see who will eventually prevail.