The Google build-up: what’s to be expected?

Most of you probably already know of the numerous products and services offered by Google nowadays. From their ubiquitous search engine on which they founded their business, to their industry-changing GMail, you can’t really use the web without running into one of these Google-branded services.

And, it appears that Google isn’t halting expansion in this area. A quick check of Google’s services and tools at Wikipedia reveals that many of these services were aquired or started within the past two years, probably as a result of the new cash available following the progression of Google into a publicly-traded company. Indeed, the company is offering a wide range of things, from 3D modelling software, to maps of Mars. This highlights a key aspect of Google’s business plan: What can’t be developed, should be bought. With the huge base of talented people Google employs, and the large amount of money they have, competitors have reason to be worried.

To some of you, this may be no surprise; indeed, Google keeps the public apprised of some of the stuff they’re working on through their Google Labs website. What is interesting about this is the direction that Google appears to be taking, that is, transforming from a web search engine into a web services provider. While many of you will claim this started a long time ago, I believe it’s all the more relevant right now since not only does Google have more money to do stuff with, but with the rollout of similar services by Microsoft and Yahoo! (among others), a war-of-sorts appears to be on the horizon.

Combine this with the recent announcement of Google notebook, a tool that seems to have a huge social networking component (like their Blogger and Calendar services), and the addition of Gmail Pictures, and it’s easy to see that Google is appealing to a younger crowd, the Myspace and Facebook generation. The article about Gmail Pictures in particular paints an interesting picture, that of Google possibly integrating a face search with these services. With the popularity of Facebook it isn’t impossible to imagine a use for a service like this – crazy as it may seem.

Indeed, the goal of all of these web-services seems to be to provide intensely personalized and interactive content – with the Google/Microsoft/Yahoo! branding, and not just on your PC, but also on any device connected to the Internet. As the Internet becomes a better and better means to deliver content, don’t be surprised to find these companies further permeating different aspects of life.

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