Whenever Google enters a market, big changes happen. It happened with search, it happened with advertising, and one of the key points of my “Innovation in E-mail”:http://jayneely.com/2007/03/21/innovation-in-e-mail post is that it happened in webmail. Now Google is stepping up to the plate as one of the largest global Internet corporations, and on their new blog they’re talking about tackling malware. The advantage a search company has in tracking this sort of thing is enormous, and Google’s renowned data-center processing power is sure to help too. I can’t help but note that this is another jab at software rival Microsoft and its perceived security vulnerability. A few predictions:
* Google hasn’t been lax in making acquisitions, and I expect them to buy the expertise they need both to complement their knowledge of search, and possibly to enter the desktop security market. The “Google Pack”:http://pack.google.com/, “a free collection of essential software” already includes Norton Security Scan and Spyware Doctor Starter Edition. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google replaced these with it’s own re-branded tool, but I also think they’re more likely to offer an online utility.
* In the past, when Google has entered a market, some aspects of the service they’ve offered have usually seen reductions in prices. Search was free to begin with, but AdSense and AdWords made advertising available to all kinds of budgets, and Gmail brought data storage to the commodity-level pricing it deserved to be at. Unlike security companies, Google’s long-term profitability is enhanced by *fewer* threats on the web, and even fewer threats of threats on the web.
The reason why _I’m_ writing about this is because a safe environment is essential to open communication. We don’t fear streaming content, but many more of us wouldn’t be willing to download a file we find out of concern it may harbor a virus. When people can trust that the attachment they’re opening isn’t infected, that the page they’re going to won’t install spyware, that spambots won’t harvest their posted e-mail address, *that’s* the kind of environment in which communication can truly flourish.