Google

Google - News, Features, and Slideshows

News

  • Microsoft's Yahoo bid is really about business apps

    At first blush, Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Yahoo for US$46.6 billion is about growing its consumer advertising and portal business to better compete wit Google. And that's certainly part of the mix, but perhaps lost in the discussion is how such an acquisition could help Microsoft execute its software-plus-services strategy for delivering business apps over the Internet faster and better, said several analysts. That strategy could help Microsoft compete with Google's own business-apps initiative, they said.

  • What's in store for Google's GDrive?

    Whatever Google offers with the GDrive -- assuming it ever actually comes out with the GDrive -- it's got to be better than having everyone in the enterprise working off the F drive. Although it may go by other names in specific companies, the F drive refers to that shared dumping ground where everything seems to end up. This includes meeting notes, annual reports and even expense form templates. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Google will soon offer an online service that acts as a repository for such data. Makes sense: if you're going to offer tools for enterprise search, as Google is doing, it helps if users have something to search through. The business users most likely to adopt GDrive would be the same kinds of firms that have adopted its Enterprise Apps suite. In other words, smaller organizations or departments in larger ones that have more web-savvy employees with particular preferences around user interface and availability. Google's main limitation, as always, is its die-hard tether to the browser. It won't let you access what's stored in the GDrive offline, even though a lot or work still happens without an Internet connection being activated. Even as an online-only offering, it may be hard for Google to compete with Microsoft. Besides the "Skydrive" Microsoft offers as part of its Live.com services, it also has SharePoint. Yes, it's a portal product, but we've also talked to Canadian customers who told us they used it to move all the data that would normally be in the F drive anyway. When it's something like personal e-mail, users are quite happy to use up tons of storage, and Google pushed the rest of the industry to increase the limit on what was accepted by an online provider. In a business context, though, is Google prepared to handle terabytes? And even if it is, are companies prepared to have terabytes stored virtually on Google? There may be an image problem here: storing data on Google kind of feels like putting it in the middle of a public park. The company would need to emphasize not only the search capabilities of the GDrive but also the security it will use to protect the data. And unless it partners with someone, Google has no proprietary security technology that anyone knows about. If you consider the state of offline storage today, the need for better availability and search is clearly there. It's why companies like EMC are being successful with content-addressable products (and probably why EMC recently acquired online storage provider Berkley Data Systems for US$75 million in September). It's why Symantec has been offering e-discovery tools to sift through data stored on Veritas products. These are the kind of heavy-duty chores enterprises care about. It's different than storing your personal MP3s, and Google will have to prove it understands that. Human nature plays a part in all this, of course. No matter how sophisticated the technology, there's something impermanent about storing something online than on disk or in a box you can touch and feel. That perception may be the GDrive's biggest hurdle. That, and the F drive.

  • Final release of Windows Live

    Microsoft's Windows Live services and applications officially emerge from beta on Tuesday, and the company is planning a marketing campaign for its online properties that it expects to reach an audience of 10 billion on the web over the next two months.

  • Android seen as leading to market fragmentation

    Monday's announcement of the Android open mobile platform by Google and dozens of other companies could provoke the kinds of industry battles seen with other Linux-based initiatives, where incumbent, established players fight newcomers.

  • Google set to announce mobile platform

    Google negotiators this weekend continue to hammer out agreements with wireless carriers, handset makers, software developers and hardware providers, as the company prepares to announce an ambitious platform for creating mobile applications.

  • Search startups vie for position in mobile market

    Leading search companies Google and Yahoo didn't appear to have a presence at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment conference in San Francisco this week, but their startup competitors and smaller rival AOL were all angling for influence over mobile search.

  • Google throws hat into Australian election

    Australian politicians from both sides of the fence have lauded Google Australia's launch of a new election web page and tools dedicated to keeping the nation informed about all manner of politics and election issues.

  • Judge tells Australian gov't to revise Google case

    Australian Federal Court judge, James Allsop, this week ordered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to go away and revise its case against The Trading Post and Google, claiming it didn't make sense.

  • Claims that Google is censoring YouTube

    A press advocacy group is "dismayed" about Google's decision to block YouTube videos from viewers in Thailand that are considered inappropriate or illegal by that Asian government.