Ok, even I am starting to get a bit sick of this. Nearly all of the new developments in search engines, online media and digital marketing seem to be coming from Google, and so every week I have at least one post dedicated to this giant.
This despite the fact that Google late last year sacked a lot of engineers and supposedly cancelled a lot of their upcoming projects and R&D. If the Financial Crisis hadn’t happened, perhaps I would be writing about Google every day!
Either Google has the most amazing PR people, other tech companies aren’t doing much, or Google really is the worlds biggest online monopoly, but today has Google announcing yet even more new developments.
Christine Varney, of the US Government, has voiced suspicions of Google being the overwhelming monopoly in the online search market, and it is starting to get more and more obvious.
Anyway, what is this new Google tool? Well, if I am honest, it isn’t really brand new – Google actually bought Grand Central Communications two years ago, but yesterday they re-branded it Google Voice, adding it to their arsenal of Google products.
Google Voice is a service which manages incoming calls on phones, and is apparently used by hundreds of thousands of people in the US (available only in the US). The new upgrade released yesterday, takes this one step further by utilising Google technology to automate transcripts of voicemails and even offers discounts on international calls.
Is this outside Google’s normal remit? A Google representative said this:
“Google is all about helping you manage your information and one of the big holes right now is in the management of voice communications,”
I thought Google was all about managing online information, but I guess in this day and age, if you can put it online, then Google can have a go at managing it. While all these tools are kind of free for us to use, I guess it doesn’t bother the average consumer too much. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but Google’s overwhelming expansion, now into almost an offline area, raises even my suspicions.
As a post script, another Google product, Google Reader, also got an upgrade today, but I am quite sick of writing about Google products now, so all I will say about it is that they have enabled comments in Google Reader, the place where you share your articles and blogs, as another way of helping organise online information.
OK, next week I am going to focus on reporting stories and developments from other online companies…