During what is normally a very slow tech news month, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin drop a Monday afternoon bomb that Google Inc. is now Alphabet Inc. and the various business entities under the company formally known as Google are now subsidiaries of the new company.
Alphabet CEO Larry Page, in a blog post announcing the change:
We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant.
The company and products you formerly knew as Google stay as Google, albeit now as a wholly owned subsidiary under Alphabet. GOOG becomes the stock trading symbol for Alphabet, and all previous shares of Google convert directly into shares of Alphabet.
Forever in tune with the zeitgeist, they even included a nice little easter egg for fans of the HBO series Silicon Valley.
Speaking of Microsoft, it looks like they might be up to their old tricks again.
Mark Wilson, writing for Fast Company’s Co.Design blog, apparently has an axe to grind and it isn’t just with Apple. As proof, he takes a swing at the highly regarded Thinkpad:
Sapper’s design was unparalleled in 1992, but times have changed. We have touchpads and touch screens that can distinguish how many fingers you’re clicking with.
Wilson’s primary beef is with Lenovo’s insistence of keeping the red nub around despite the proliferation and popularity of more modern pointer input methods.
First, the functional irrelevance of a particular feature of the design doesn’t necessarily detract from its timelessness. Being replaced by other, arguably superior, forms of input doesn’t retroactively dismiss the achievement of the original design or implementation. Second, I still find trackpads on non-Apple hardware to be “ludicrous”, so I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the value of the red nub on today’s Thinkpads.
I’m not a daily reader of Co.Design, but I’ve enjoyed checking in at least once a week or so. Lately, though, it seems like they’re just trolling for clicks.