Google launches bid for America's Cup

The battle for the sailing trophy -- and Silicon Valley's biggest ego -- heats up with new contender for Larry Ellison's pet platform

[This is an April Fools' story. It is fiction, not fact, though it may contains fact. --Ed.]

With the saltwater barely evaporated from his Topsiders, Oracle mogul Larry Ellison faces a shocking new contender out of Silicon Valley for the America's Cup racing crown: Google will soon announce plans to enter its mysterious barge into the historic seafaring contest.

The America's Cup race generated high drama on the high seas last fall, with Oracle Team USA climbing back from the brink of elimination to defeat Emirates Team New Zealand and net Ellison's second consecutive title in the competition. Along the way, bad publicity also plagued Ellison and Oracle, amid accusations of cheating in the race, deceiving the city of San Francisco on the tax bill, and fulfilling every negative stereotype of the 1 percent. An equal-opprtunity offender, Ellison even managed to snub his shareholders and skip his own keynote address at the OpenWorld conference to take in the race. But as with the fight for cloud computing and mobile technology, other tech suitors were sure to follow, and Google is the first to throw its anchor into the waves.

Coincidentally or not, Google's barges made headlines shortly after Ellison and friends broke out the champagne and caviar, as the enigmatic floating vessels appeared in the San Francisco Bay and across the country in Portland, Me. At the time, rumors surfaced regarding the barges' ultimate purpose as floating data centers and Google Glass stores, but Google itself has remained notably vague on plans for the ships. In typical Google style, the company will not confirm reports of its interest in the America's Cup, but its recent deals and acquisitions suggest a plan is in motion.

For example, online pundits have suggested that wearing Google Glasses approximates the same feelings of nausea and disorientation you'd get from being tossed about the waves. In addition, Google's standout acquisitions include Makani Power (for expertise in harnessing the wind) and Waze (for advanced GPS technology), but the company's spate of moves in robotics could be the difference maker. It is unclear if Google can or would be allowed to replace the entire human crew with bots, but odds are high AI and automation could play a big part in the operations of the ship, thus giving rise to the world's first ro-boat.

Google may not be alone in calling out Ellison. Sources speculate that the Winklevoss twins could tear themselves away from their newfound bitcoin fortune and return to the waves for a rowing challenge against Oracle Team USA.

Please note: This is an April Fools' joke.

This story, "Google launches bid for America's Cup," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in April Fools' Day at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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