Google shares were down 5 percent, or $19.23, to $365.87 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq. Analysts cited concerns that the Web search company was prepared to dramatically increase the cost of acquiring new customers by agreeing to pay huge upfront fees to win deals with PC makers.
Henry Blodget explains why, predicated on the deal being based on distribution of the Google Pack of miscellaneous software announced at CES06. Google could merely be overpaying, but Russell Shaw at ZDNet has another theory – Prediction- Google-powered Star Office suite for Dell:
Fellow blogger Rich Tehrani writes that for that amount of money, we should expect something “radically” new. He surmises this could be a Google-branded browser, or even a Google counterpart to Microsoft Office.
“Something software-based and something customers aren’t likely to download,” Rich writes. “The goal would be to get the customers before they get hooked on something else.”
Now, here is my take. I see a Google Branded version of Sun’s StarOffice.
More by following the link, but wouldn’t that be a game changer? It would also explain the odd Google-Sun alliance announcement last October. While it still won’t do anything immediately good for Google’s bottom line, Microsoft could find it rather more uncomfortable.