Predicting the Next Breakthrough Product for Google

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Predicting the Next Breakthrough Product for Google

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Google Apps

This is the obvious place to start. Google had high hopes for the Google Apps suite when it launched it 2006. The collaboration suite boasts millions of users, including some larger businesses such as Serena Software and Capgemini. This is hardly enough to unseat Microsofts hundreds of millions of users for Office and Exchange, particularly among larger enterprises reticent to give themselves over to cloud, or Web-hosted computing. Googles Apps team will tell you Rome wasnt built in a day and Google seems to be on a slow march in the enterprise. What product do you see emerging from this suite as a game changer?

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Google Android

Though open source, Android is arguably the pivot point for Googles future growth. The mobile computing space is exploding; Google sees the mobile Web as the next window it needs to crack wide open to get more users for its Web services, such as Search and Google Apps. No doubt all of Googles future endeavors will be made mobile at some point. But perhaps more importantly, Google sees Android as a platform for anything from consumer electronics devices such as set-top boxes and televisions, to laundry washing machines. Will Android take over our homes?

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Google Chrome

Chrome captured the hearts and minds of many Google fans last September when Google unveiled it in the form of an informative comic book. With a 1.8 percent penetration rate (according to NetApplications), Google ranks a distant fourth behind market-leading Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apples Safari. But innovation on the browser continues and it will be interesting to see how Google will extend Chrome to interplay with other Web applications.

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Google Book Search

Though notoriously controversial in 2009, Google Book Search is Googles pledge to scan as many books as possible online for individuals and public libraries to license for fees. The Department of Justice is looking into potential antitrust violations for this service, but Google has the potential to become the de facto repository for publications on the Web. It also could be a major new way Google can make money from search sans sponsored listings. If that concept isnt a game changer, we dont know what is.

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Google Health

No less ambitious than Google Book Search, Google Health also comes with its issues of contention. Privacy advocates are super scared of giving Google the ability to host health records online for access by patients. But Google has said it would not charge fees to let users access health records, so it is unclear how Google is going to make money from this. Will pharmaceutical ads be the key here? Will Pfizer, et al, be a new revenue source?

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Google App Engine

Google launched App Engine in April 2008 as a platform to let Web developers create applications and host them on Googles data centers. Press corps immediately feasted on the launch as Googles shot across Amazon Web Services' bows, but Google downplays that assertion, noting that it is sticking to hosting Web apps. But what if Google decides to do database clusters and storage, providing a more rounded computing cloud? Could this be a product that begins to help Google make more money?

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Google Voice

Google acquired GrandCentral in July 2007, creating a buzz among users curious to see how Google might fuse the VOIP system with its platform. Finally, GrandCentral resurfaced in March as Google Voice, a service that consolidates customers' phone numbers and offers voicemail transcriptions and SMS management. The service is currently in beta for existing Grand Central users. The rest of the world must wait. Can Google find a way to cut into the VOIP pie to make serious cash with Voice?

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Google Wave

Google Wave is intended as a real-time collaboration tool, a hybrid suite of communication tools for information exchange, including wikis, Web chat, social networking and project management. The tool also features Twitter microblogging capabilities. Will Google find a way to get OpenSocial fans into the Wave, proving the world an alternative to Facebook and Twitter?