Google Space Is Very Down-To-Earth

    November 24, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Either London’s Heathrow Airport will soon be replaced by one of Google’s fabled space elevators, or the Google Space project at Heathrow is just an elaborate testing ground.

Terminal One at Heathrow has a Google Internet presence in its public lounge, ZDNet UK reported. Ten Samsung laptops, Internet connectivity, and a rotating two-person staff of Google employees running Google Space will be in place until December 19th.

The debut coincides with Google’s opening of its London offices. In the report, ZDNet noted some details about Google’s presence at Heathrow and in London:

“Google Space will help people make wasted time more useful. And for Google, Space is a live lab where people can test our most-up-to-date products, and give us their feedback, “said Lorraine Twohill, Google’s European director of marketing.

At the launch of the London GooglePlex last week, the company made much of its interest in developing wireless services – citing the wealth of wireless expertise in Europe compared to its US home. However, Google Space has no Wi-Fi capability at this time, according to one of the project’s founders, product marketing manager Andy Ku. “If enough people ask us for wireless we may seriously think about doing it at a later date,” Ku said.

Speculation will run rampant online about Google’s intentions toward unwitting air travelers who spend some time engaged with the search advertising company. Ten laptops and a couple of employees providing Internet access for a month could simply be a little buzz-building for Google.

Proponents of the Google-as-Microsoft-slayer should be having a field day with Google’s upgraded presence in the UK. MSN recently inked a deal with the Times Online to be its preferred search provider on the news firm’s website. Now MSN will have to compete on a local level with Google and its London Googleplex.

Microsoft has run a lot of research projects in the UK. One of those projects, Avalanche, could be the next BitTorrent. With Google’s affection for developing new technologies, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them throw down some type of challenge to Microsoft from the London office someday soon.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.