For several weeks the latest buzz has hinted at Google following Apple’s footsteps and developing a mobile phone that integrates features and function with their web services (Gmail, Google maps etc). Much of the speculation has been fueled by Google’s hiring of high level analog engineers and mobile hardware/software developers. It’s certainly possible. It’s another possibility (which makes a lot more sense) that Google is not interested in building or selling phones but rather is working on phone development to better optimize Google services and products for use and distribution to the wireless world. A Google-phone may never hit the market but development on one could help Google integrate Gmail into the next line of Motorola or Samsung phones.
Others rumors have swirled that Google is looking at acquiring DoubleClick, the Internet advertising network pioneer now owned by San Francisco Private Equity Firm Hellman & Friedman along with other partners. There hasn’t been any corroboration for it, but a DoubleClick deal would make sense if it proves true. DoubleClick’s ad management technology and relationships with media buyers could be tremendously valuable for Google Even just defensively, keeping Doubleclick from going to Yahoo or Microsoft could help Google’s expansion of advertising services.
The one bit of news that is confirmed and not just rumor:
Google’s rapidly growing portfolio of web-applications will be getting bigger. Now, in addition to SketchUp, Picasa and other tools, Google will be offering visualization tools for graphically viewing statistics (with animations and interactive visual displays).
The platform for this offering, Trendalyzer, was acquired from Stockholm based non-profit Gapminder for undisclosed terms. The team responsible for the software will relocate to the Mountain View campus to further develop the platform and help make it available freely through the Google website.