Google founders announce new timeline for Buddy Suite
Lausanne - September 30, 2009 | 7:03 pm

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made a surprise appearance today in the Software Engineering course at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

There had been mounting speculation that the long-awaited Buddy Suite software would be delayed. Buddy Suite is an application pack for Android-based mobile phones, allowing friends to interact in novel new ways. The three main components are FriendFinder (which shows you on a map where your friends are currently located), SmartChat (which allows you to chat with your friends and automatically translates the conversations between friends who speak different languages), and Chess (which invites friends to a battle of their wits).

Mr. Page announced that FriendFinder, the first application in the suite, will now be delivered on October 12. It was originally slated for release on October 6. The original release was intended to coincide with several other equally major events in human history: on this same day in year 1600, Jacopo Peri's Euridice premiered in Florence and marked the beginning of the Baroque Period; in 1889, Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture on October 6, and this day in 1927 marked the opening for The Jazz Singer, the first talking movie. Mr. Brin pointed out that on October 6, 1966, the LSD psychedelic – synthesized almost thirty years earlier by Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann – was declared illegal in the United States, so he did not want a day that made many people unhappy to coincide with the release of FriendFinder.

The media is already speculating that the October 12 date was chosen with a hidden significance: precisely ten years ago, the world population reached six billion on this day. Will the FriendFinder help all six billion people become friends?

The two Google founders assured the crowds that this initial delay will not affect the final release date of the Buddy Suite. To great cheers, they announced that the integrated suite will be available on December 7, one week earlier than originally planned. This would allow the Software Engineering teams to take a break from coding and study for their exam on December 15. The new release schedule announced by the two entrepreneurs is:

  • October 12: Friend Finder
  • October 26: Chess Game UI
  • November 2: Chess Game Logic
  • November 16: Network Chess Game
  • November 30: Smart Chat
  • December 7: Final release of integrated suite

Analysts have always wondered how the EPFL teams would be able to deliver this groundbreaking new suite of applications in their final form by December. The Software Engineering course at EPFL is a young one, with no track record and this year being only its second iteration, so analysts are carefully monitoring progress on the Buddy Suite developments. Larry Page responded to the concerns by saying "Developing new applications for a new platform is always a challenge, but I have complete faith in the SwEng teams. Yes, they are young and perhaps not as experienced as others, but you can see the passion in their eyes and the desire to deliver high quality software to the market. I found them to be very, very focused on making sure that they produce on time the software our consumers are all waiting for."