Google is stepping up its recruitment of developers with a two-day workshop called Web Forward in May at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Among the major platforms, there is a battle for the hearts and minds of developers. More developers means more applications, which means a more substantive platform, as well as an ecosystem that feeds the Google advertising engine. Microsoft held its Mix 08 conference last week aimed at bringing developers to its emerging Web platform with Silverlight, IE 8 and FeedSynch.
Richard Waters of the Financial Times talked to senior Google product manager Tom Stocky about the event: "I'm not sure I see it as Google versus anyone else. What we're really doing is promoting the Web as a platform. There's no Google agenda."
Saying that there is "no Google agenda" doesn't mean that the company isn't using the event to promote its own cloud infrastructure platform and APIs. As Richard points out, Google's idea is to provide open source code and APIs to help developers accelerate the growth of Web applications, and at the same time attract developers to write those apps for its own platform and services, meaning not necessarily for Microsoft or Adobe.
One question is whether Google will open up Google Apps and the overall platform more for third parties to extend the productivity suite, as Salesforce.com has done with its CRM application platform.