Google Goes Mobile, Beckons Bloggers
Search giant Google Inc. is proving this week that it never sits still.
Google on Friday announced millions of U.S. cell phones can use Google Gmail e-mail, ending a week of seemingly nonstop new initiatives.
Double-time production schedules are the norm for Google, America Online, Yahoo Inc, Microsofts Internet division MSN and other Internet search providers.
Each must constantly wrestle with new Internet security concerns or new media like blogs, which are self-published Internet sites that are growing in numbers, popularity and editorial importance.
To be sure, through all the hubbub, Googles not abandoning its core search business, even though some of the moves it makes signal otherwise.
A lot of what Google announced this week had to do with Internet search, which still generates most, if not all, of Googles revenues through the sale of advertisements that appear alongside results.
In the last few days, Google has added a specialized blogging feature so Internet users could read commentary about a Web site theyre visiting. It requires a freely-available plug-in computer program for Firefox Web browsers.
Google also began breaking out music listings this week. So someone searching for Peter Gabriel would see listings of his solo albums and a smattering of reviews.
On Friday it made Gmail mobile, which has a little more significance than lyrics finders. Mobile Gmail means the firm continues to get its service to operate on gadgets other than PCs. In this case, the enormously popular cell phone.
Mobile G-mail is limited to the United States and only works on a relatively small set of phones. Itll be available in other areas soon, according to Google.
Theres an even bigger move to come: Google is purchasing some or all of the company that controls the distribution of the Opera Web browser, according to various public accounts based on off-the-record sources.
Google says it doesnt respond to market rumors, and had no comment.
Theres an Achilles Heel to all this Web nation building. Digital hucksters are everywhere on the Internet, and Google, MSN, Yahoo and other major Web destinations must offer up defenses for their customers.
This week, Google introduced Google Safe Browsing, which alerts users if a Web page their visiting on a Firefox browser is dubiously asking for personal or financial information.
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