thinker.jpgIt has been a furious month of news about Google, precipitated by rumors of its ambitions for a free wireless network, heightened this week by release of its free sidebar, and slammed home by the introduction of its free Google Talk, an IM and chat technology.

Many of you, like us, are wondering what it all means. Here’s a great piece by Jason Kottke, who writes this even before Google Talk was released. It is about the Google OS, and Ajax and all of the goodies that geek-minded people in the valley should know about. And Om’s musings here are one attempt to sum things ups: The Google effect is radical because it is bringing the cost of things to zero, and because Microsoft will go through a lot of pain.

With weeks like this, it is easy to assume things are moving more quickly and more directed than they are. When the dust settles, though, this will remain a long tough slog, and Google too will face challenges. Note that Om apologies for going on a Google “tangent” this week; he even once asked us why we’re so preoccupied by Google (and Yahoo) here at SiliconBeat (some readers have asked too). We replied that Google’s search offerings (and Yahoo’s) seem to have driven so much of the valley’s innovation cycle in recent years, something that Battelle in particular has done a good job in explaining. We’ll try not to obsess about Google, but will keep a hawk’s eye on them nonetheless.