David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page said it was a concern for improving the image of computer programming that led the web giant to participate in filming Fox’s The Internship, a comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as unemployed salesmen who talk their way into coveted internships at the company. “I’m not sure we had a choice” about participating, Page said at Google’s I/O developer conference today. “Computer science has a marketing problem. We’re the nerdy curmudgeons. (But) the guy who plays the head of search [in the movie] is by far the coolest guy in the movie, and we’re really excited about that.” The comments came as Page talked of the need for better education and more computer programmers if the country is to remain competitive (the company also announced an initiative to make it easy for schools to buy and install educational apps on Google-powered tablets and computers). The Internship, directed by Shawn Levy, is set to debut June 7.
Page, who just made public his health problems with vocal cord paralysis that leaves his voice hoarse and choked, took the stage to loud whoops from the audience of hard-core developers and engineers after three hours of presentations by more than a dozen company executives about a wide variety of new and revamped services. The most jaw-dropping tech showcased transforms the basic Google search to a voice-only experience. A person activates the search engine by saying “OK, Google” to a computer, tablet or smartphone and then asks a question. The search engine figures out what the person is asking, then responds by voice itself. The service, which launches later today, is somewhat similar to Apple’s Siri service on its iPhones, but importantly will operate on many kinds of devices including iPhones and iPads, as well as computers using the Google Chrome browser and cellphones and tablets running Google’s Android mobile operating system.
The company also said it will launch a subscription music service, Google Play Music All Access, today in the U.S. for $9.99 a month. It will provide access to millions of tracks in 22 genres in addition to the user’s own music, executives said. The service will have a 30-day free trial, and early adopters who sign on before June 30 will get it for $7.99 a month.