Google Video marches on

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Giles Turnbull

Giles Turnbull
Jan. 19, 2006 04:32 AM
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Apple and Google operate in very different ways. Apple like to announce things with a bang, preferably with Steve standing in front of a whooping crowd, music thumping, a stage full o' Macs behind him.

Google, on the other hand, might update its Labs page, or maybe post something on the corporate blog. It has a far more laid-back approach.

And ever since the announcement that it would start to sell video content online, Google has been gradually building on the features of Google Video.

In recent weeks, they've added the basic store on the front page:

Take your pick

And made it easy to grab the video files you want, even for use on your iPod:

Win, Mac and iPod. Oh, and PSP

What they're doing seems very evolutionary, iterative. Small changes, frequently made. Apple does not tend to work this way. Usually Apple will release something, and aside from minor tweaks via Software Update, the product will remain static until the next keynote opportunity to release it with all the fanfare Apple thinks it deserves.

So why am I making these quibbling comparisons on a Mac-oriented weblog?

Well, because I'm of the opinion that digital video is a wide-open market, and that Google's rapid progress on improving and updating the Google Video Store is something that Apple should be worried about. Google has an excellent opportunity to beat Apple at its own game, to do to Apple with video what Apple did to the music industry with the iTunes Music Store.

There's still much work to be done before any company can claim to dominate the digital video space. Watching which one will succeed is going to be an interesting pastime for the next year or so.

Right now, Google has wider reach to more computer users. But Apple need not worry about it gaining ground among Mac users just yet; not with little alerts like this appearing on the Video Store:

Oh. Ok then.

Which is weird, to say the least. When did Macs have trouble coping with online payments?

Giles Turnbull is a freelance writer and editor. He has been writing on and about the Internet since 1997. He has a web site at http://gilest.org.