2 years ago Google created the Nexus program for their Android phones. Vendors were off screwing around with things like dual screen android phones, 3D android phones, all the weird gimmicks that marketing people loved, and actually people hated (especially on a 2 year contract). The point of Nexus was to lead by example, and get out ahead of the vendors enough that they’d realize there was a better way to do this, and stop screwing around on egregious differentiation that had no real value.
I consider the Samsung S3 to be the natural child of the Nexus program. A non-Nexus device from Samsung which is gorgeous, wonderful to use, and has only minimal tweaks off the base UI. My wife and I just flipped to Verizon and got a pair of these last week, and my love for this device only gets stronger by the day.
I really think of Google’s new fiber project as a Nexus program. Google is demonstrating that there is a better way to do broadband, and that the economics are there for fiber to the home if you look at it systematically. A rethinking of how to roll out a network. I’m pretty sure Google doesn’t actually want to be an ISP, any more than they want to be a phone manufacturer. But by leading by example, they are going to change the nature of home connectivity.