Tag Archive: google

Google shuts down Google Labs

Google CEO Larry Page is making good on his promise to put more wood behind fewer arrows as the company focuses more of its resources and efforts on its core products.

Google today announced in a blog post that the company will discontinue its Google Labs efforts. Bill Coughran, Google’s senior vice president for Research and Systems Infrastructure, said the company has learned a lot by launching very early prototypes in the Labs. But he added that the company’s “greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.”

What this means for Google Labs right now is that some projects and experiments will end immediately. And some Labs products and tech will be folded into other Google product areas. Coughran also said many Google Labs products that are available as apps through the Android Market will continue to be offered there.

“We’ll continue to push speed and innovation–the driving forces behind Google Labs–across all our products, as the early launch of the Google+ field trial last month showed,” Coughran said in the blog post.

Last week, after the company’s earnings were released, Google CEO Larry Page tried to reassure analysts and investors that the company is focusing on projects that will offer the biggest returns on investment.

“Overall, we are focused on long-term, absolute profit and growth, as we have always been,” Page said. “It’s easy to focus on things that we do that are speculative, e.g., driverless cars. But we spend the vast majority of our resources on the core products. We may have a few small speculative projects happening at any given time, but we are very careful stewards of shareholder money. We are not betting the farm on this stuff.”

Google recently killed off a couple of other projects that were not gaining traction. Last month it pulled the plug on Google Health, a personal health records service, and turned off the lights on Google PowerMeter, a service for monitoring Web-based home energy use.


LONDON: Apple has overtaken Google as the world’s most valuable brand , ending a four-year reign by the Internet search leader, according to a new study by global brands agency Millward Brown.

The iPhone and iPad maker’s brand is now worth $153 billion, almost half Apple’s market capitalization, says the annual BrandZ study of the world’s top 100 brands.

Apple’s portfolio of coveted consumer goods propelled it past Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company last year.

Peter Walshe, global brands director of Millward Brown, says Apple’s meticulous attention to detail, along with an increasing presence of its gadgets in corporate environments, have allowed it to behave differently from other consumer-electronics makers.

“Apple is breaking the rules in terms of its pricing model,” he told Reuters by telephone. “It’s doing what luxury brands do, where the higher price the brand is, the more it seems to underpin and reinforce the desire.”

“Obviously, it has to be allied to great products and a great experience, and Apple has nurtured that.”

Of the top 10 brands in Monday’s report, six were technology and telecoms companies: Google at number two, IBM at number three, Microsoft at number five, AT&T at number seven and China Mobile at number nine.

McDonald’s rose two places to number four, as fast food became the fastest-growing category, Coca-Cola slipped one place to number six, Marlboro was also down one to number eight, and General Electric was number 10.

Walshe said demand from China was a major factor in the rise of fast-food brands. “The Chinese have been discovering fast food and it’s such a vast market — Starbucks, McDonald’s… and pizza has hit China,” he said.

“The way McDonald’s has reinvented itself, adapted its menus, added healthy options, expanding the times of day it can be visited, for example oatmeal for breakfast… that allied with growth in developing markets has really helped that brand.”

Nineteen of the top 100 brands came from emerging markets, up from 13 last year.

Facebook entered the top 100 at number 35 with a brand valued at $19.1 billion, while Chinese search engine Baidu rose to number 29 from 46.

Toyota reclaimed its position as the world’s most valuable car brand, as it recovered from a bungled 2010 product recall. The survey was carried out before the March earthquake that caused massive disruption to Japanese supply chains.

The total value of the top 100 brands rose by 17 percent to $2.4 trillion, as the global economy shifted to growth.

Millward Brown takes as a starting point the value that companies put on their own main brands as intangibles in their earnings reports.

It combines that with the perceptions of more than 2 million consumers in relevant markets around the world whom it surveys over the course of the year, and then applies a multiple derived from the company’s short-term future growth prospects.

Courtesy : Techgig

Online news websites are currently rife with talk of search engine giant Google apparently planning to launch a new social networking service imminently, dubbed Google Circles. But what is Google Circles exactly? And what can the service add to the already oversaturated genre of social networking?

The new service is rumoured to be one which allows its users to share status updates, links, videos and other media with friends and acquaintances. Nothing new in that regard then! However, the grape vine suggests that the biggest bonus of Circles is that is offers far more privacy than its competitors allowing the user to share media with people in certain “circles” only (for example, “co-workers”, “school friends” or “family”) instead of sharing with everyone at once. This is the case with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Google Circles might seem familiar for another reason too. The service was once used for a very short period of time by competing search engine Lycos back in 2004, before the rise of the global popularity of Facebook started.

At the time, David Kim (CEO of Lycos) promoted the service as “a one-stop shop for sharing things, discussing and staying in touch with favourite circles of people.” The CEO added that Circles helps one to be “more efficient at socializing.”

The situation just aids to prove that ideas can only be successful if people actually hear about them and it goes without saying that Google have a far larger audience than Lycos ever has.

The employees of Google are remaining very tight lipped regarding the supposedly hijacked service however, only stating that the company would not comment on “rumour or speculation.” Although the number of people with Google accounts is escalating, I would be concerned that Google’s current services – and therefore; probably Circles as well – will be restricted to account holders only, which could potentially affect uptake. Paradoxically, signing up to use Facebook or Twitter can be done with any email address.

Lack of universal usage is the only complaint I have regarding services like GTalk – I wish all my friends had Google accounts so that I could communicate with them all using this facility! It remains to be seen if Circles will be enough of a hit with web surfers to tempt more individuals over to the G side.