Walt Mossberg, personal technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, spoke briefly at an event this morning held by the Technology Council of Maryland.
He gave his thoughts of where companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google stand in today's competitive market. (Video clip coming soon!)
He talked about how well the technology industry has been doing, even in a recession (even though venture capitalists are still having a tough time). He said we should think of of the Internet like the electrical grid--it should be everywhere without having to think about physically connecting to the Web before using the applications we all rely on every day.
"When you woke up this morning, you did not say when you turned on your hair dryer or toaster or coffee maker, 'I'm going to go on the electrical grid and do these things,'" he said.
Cloud computing and the evolution of cellphones into small computers are two of the biggest trends he sees happening right now. He held up an Apple iPhone and a Droid phone powered by a Google operating system. Google's first Android phone was "not hugely successful," he said, and has about 10,000 apps, compared to the 85,000 apps available for the iPhone. But he said that's still a significant number that shouldn't be dismissed.
"Google's strength as a company is to know where things are headed," he said, giving the example of Google Wave. Mossberg hasn't spent much time with the technology, but he sees the importance of increasingly merging our social networking lives--IM, chat, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.--in a more managable application.