The mythical Google PC

Yesterday, John Battelle noted that Resource Shelf had spotted some intriguing domain registrations: On Wednesday, Google (or someone at Google) registered the domain names and, while Urs Hoelzle, a top Google engineer and one of the masterminds behind its cutting-edge computing system, registered As Battelle wrote: “Innaresting!”

Google has deep expertise in designing and assembling energy-efficient PCs – it reportedly has hundreds of thousands or even millions of them running in data centers around the world. The company has also been pushing the computer industry to reengineer personal computers to dramatically reduce their energy consumption. Urs Hoelzle has been particularly active in this effort, having recently cowritten an important paper about the design of PC power supplies.

So, given those newly registered domains, it’s not hard to conjure up a scenario in which Google draws on its expertise to launch an amazingly efficient low-cost PC into the market. Is the much rumored “Google PC” about to finally show its green face?

I asked Hoelzle, in an email, about all this, and he graciously shot back a reply:

Interesting to see that people spend their time tracking my domain registrations. You only have the partial story though – granted, a full-fledged PC for $10 will make headlines, even without the Google OS on it, but the true story is the built-in source of cheap and infinite energy in this puppy, a breakthrough technology that allows the PC to be entirely self-powered for an unlimited duration as long as the user clicks on some discreetly placed, highly relevant text ads :-)

He then removed his tongue from his cheek and concluded:

If you want a more serious answer – I won’t comment on my personal matters. Concerning PCs, our response to inquiries about the mythical Google PC remains the same as before: “We have many PC partners who serve their customers exceedingly well and we see no need to enter that market.”

So there you have it: The mythical Google PC remains mythical, and we have no idea what may or may not happen with But this story has produced one shocking revelation: irony exists in the Googleplex.

7 thoughts on “The mythical Google PC

  1. Bertil

    > one shocking revelation: irony exists in the Googleplex.

    You are being ironic yourself, right? After the Google Brin Creator, Easter Eggs more often then not and the horrible “If you feel bored, check Google News” in Calendar, if anything Google has proved it is “a company like no other” (cf. SEC paper work).

  2. Sid Steward

    Irony in email is especially dangerous, given the chances of misinterpretation. OTOH, it might serve as good corporate policy. Imagine being able to tell the DOJ: “we were only kidding!” All you need to do is add a smiley to all your emails. ;-)

  3. MarcFarley

    It seems to me that a Google PC would be a minimal I/O station for ‘playing’ a virtual system running on large multicore PCs located in a in a Google datacenter.

  4. Nick Carr

    I agree, mythically speaking, though, given Eric Schmidt’s presence on Apple’s board, I think it would come out through a joint venture between the companies, with Apple designing and branding the device and Google running the back-end system.

    You know, that’s not a bad idea.

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