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Google's Developer Strategy Rests On The Cloud

Its new era of software development includes Google Gears, Android, Google App Engine, Google Web Toolkit, and OpenSocial API, the company revealed at its I/O conference.

If it all sounds a bit like what Amazon has been doing with Amazon Web Services, Google thinks so too. Gundotra acknowledged a debt to Amazon for developing the rent-a-cloud business model.

Gibb also announced the imminent release of two new Google App Engine APIs: an imagine-manipulation API and the memcache API, for making application Web pages render more quickly.

Mark Lucovsky, technical director at Google, came to urge the use of Google's GData and Ajax APIs. Google in fact is now hosting a number of AJAX Libraries, so developers looking for the performance improvements these libraries can provide can just insert JavaScript tags that point to the libraries on Google.

Bruce Johnson, engineering manager for Google Web Toolkit, arrived on stage to announce that Google Web Toolkit 1.5 Release Candidate (GWT) would be available later this week. GWT is an open-source suite of programming tools and libraries that allows developers to write applications in Java -- Java 5 language support is a new addition -- and then cross-compile into equivalent standalone JavaScript that's compatible with a variety of Web browsers.

Finally, Google engineering director David Glazer, touted Google's OpenSocial API, now at version 0.8. "Things are coming together beautifully," he said, noting that killer apps like e-mail have traditionally been social applications.

Google may have been defeated temporarily by the unexpected number of developers drawn to its vision, but it nonetheless sees itself on the winning side, on the side of the Web.

"After years of competition among platforms, the Web has won because it's open, because it's ubiquitous, and because there's a passionate community working together to move it forward," said Gundotra in a statement. "Openness is great for developers and for users because it knocks down hurdles to building great applications, and because it speeds the next wave of innovation by letting good ideas be shared. The Web doesn't depend on any one API or tool or product, from Google or anyone else. What makes the real difference is the aggregate effect of us all working together, with open standards and open source."

In a landscape littered with potential Google rivals, it seems premature to declare victory. But as Google and the Web become ever more interdependent, it becomes harder and harder to bet on another horse.

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