Google Recap: A Secret Lab, 2 Acquisitions
GOOG (NASDAQ:GOOG) Volatile As Markets Go Nowhere
The market is see-sawing and sliding deeper in the negative despite retail sales rising in October (thanks to the iPhone) and while wholesale prices dropped for the first time in four months indicating subsiding inflation pressures. Shares of GOOG are all over the place and are currently down with the rest of tech. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); the roll-out of Google Music, social network Google+ (see below) and Google Wallet; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 12.5x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
Gmail And Google+ Are Keys To Cloud Strategy (Mercury News)
Mike Swift reports that Google plans to revamp Gmail in the coming year, which the company increasingly sees as key to selling more of its software products to businesses. Google+, Gmail, Docs and Calendar “will feel like one suite of products; it won’t feel like a separate product,” said Dave Girouard, the company’s vice president of product management. Until now, Google hasn’t been a big player in the growing business of social networking for the office. That could easily change.
Google+ Going Beyond Social Networking (ZDNet)
Google+ is evolving. While there have been qualms with users and critics about privacy concerns surrounding Google+, Google’s vice president of product management Bradley Horowitz asserts that the idea is to know users better to expand the value of other Google products, such as Gmail and Maps. It is designed to create a different nature of relationship with users. And, as articulated above, there’s huge potential for Google+ in the business world for enterprise customers.
The Kindle Fire Is A Blessing For Apple (Forbes)
There is no doubt that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will shake up the market for tablets. But it is a blessing for Apple, because the main competition to Apple is Google Android. On the surface, Kindle Fire should be good news for Android as it runs on Android, but Amazon has staked a knife through the heart of Google Android. The Kindle Fire is not a pure Android product. Amazon has taken some of the basic code of Android and built its own operating system on top of Android. And fragmentation is the biggest enemy of any operating system.
Here Comes Google Music, Get Ready For Tomorrow (The Verge)
Thomas Houston broke the news that the Google Music launch is just around the corner. The company gave a strong sign that its long-delayed music store is coming with an invitation sent to the media for a November 16 event. The event has an unusual afternoon start at 5:00 pm Eastern and had its invites sent out by “Nigel Tufnel,” a reference to Spinal Tap’s fictional lead rocker. Check out the screen shots as to what to expect.
Google Has Secret Lab Called Google X (The New York Times)
Claire Cain Miller and Nick Bilton have uncovered that Google has a secret facility, which could lead to commercial uses of driverless cars and other high technology. The lab, dubbed Google X, is a secret facility in the San Francisco area where they’re building robots and re-imagining the future, giving researchers an opportunity to work on developing technologies. I’m sure investors are thrilled about this gem. This is probably where the entire executive team goes to take bong rips with space aliens.
Google Makes Two Acquisitions To Enhance Current Products (mocoNews)
Two acquisitions were announced by Google — Apture and Katango, according to Ingrid Lunden.
Both of which point to Google’s ambition to make its user experience more sophisticated on Google+. Katango manages contacts while Apture focuses on automatic word searches as well as has a white label business to incorporate this functionality. Financial terms for both deals were not disclosed.
Heather Leonard is the Google analyst at Business Insider.