Plus, when Google Glass hits the market, it requires a hands-on experience, at least in major markets such as New York, the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. And it can't hurt to have Google "geniuses" offer live tutorials on how to make the most of Google's growing suite of services as well as
the Google Plus platform
Right off the bat, I must correct myself -- these products Google would display in physical retail stores are not, by and large, Google products per se. Like Microsoft, Google farms out the build on its hardware to "partners." If it cannot control what these hardware makers do with a Chromebook or how they present Android, Google retail could end up providing the same type of uninspiring environments as Microsoft.
Do people really want to touch, feel and buy Chromebooks, for instance, in the first place? Because that's really a big part of the push -- to realize
the Chromebook vision
of a computer for everybody who wants one. The computer for the hotel lobby or out-of-town guests in your home.
If there's scant demand, no matter how much of a spectacle, Google stores end up little more than another cheap knock-off of Apple's retail concept (because I bet they'll look a lot alike).
Here in Santa Monica, Apple recently moved to a new location.
The old one just got too small
. The new location sits about two to three blocks from the old one, which is still listed as "For Lease." It would be sort of cool -- this is a random thought -- if Google took up that location, outgrew it and moved elsewhere.
Anyway, few rumors in tech excite me these days, primarily because nearly every single one involves Apple. And, undoubtedly, they're all pretty much poorly-chased, often-fabricated garbage. I bet this one's for real though. And it does excite me. Google might finally be ready to up the ante.
Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.