Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, just concluded last week and has managed to generate a lot of excitement among fans. A new faster, smoother Android 4.1 (dubbed JellyBean); a $200 Nexus 7 tablet; an Android-only media streaming device, Nexus Q; a maturing Project Glass; and even for iOS users, Google Chrome and Google Drive.
Obviously, as with any developer conference, there are various sessions and workshops to satisfy the inquisitive minds of coders. GigaOM reported that in a session with the Google+ Hangouts team, a product manager revealed that there’s a plan to merge its various real-time messaging apps: Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and Google+ Hangouts.
Let’s just call it Google UC.
But Google Voice wasn’t mentioned. Does the company think that voice is no longer critical as an UC component?
According to the article, Google has all but standardized on Hangouts as its internal video conferencing solution:
Singhal and his colleague Chee Chew, who has been credited with inventing Google+ Hangouts, also shared a few more details about how Google uses Hangouts internally. The company uses video conferencing for virtually all of its meetings, and Singhal said that this has been completely switched to Hangouts as a video conferencing solution. “We do over 10,000 hangouts every day at Google,” he said.
Yes, 10,000 hangouts each day. Google is betting big on video conferencing, just like Cisco, Polycom, and many others. But the advantage that Google has is that it also has many platforms to bake its “UC” apps within.
If Chrome comes with Google UC, would a user still go download an alternative browser then install a plugin? If Android has Google UC would the user be compelled to download a third-party UC app to try?
Some may argue that enterprises will insist on corporate IT standardized devices/apps and consider Google UC a threat to established policies and guidelines. Nothing’s going to stop employees with Android smartphones and start a video conference to collaborate because it’s so easy. When it comes to using technology to get work done, people usually take the path of least resistance.