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February 28, 2007

February 2007 Recap: Subscription Services

This month, Google added personalized search for every logged-in user, so now it's even more likely that your search results are different than your friend's Dan. You'll also see plus boxes that extended the snippets with useful information from different Google services.

Google Maps was upgraded. This month, Google included "building footprints for the urban cores of 38 U.S. cities, giving Google Maps a better sense of scale, providing extra visual detail and enabling you to navigate using buildings as landmarks. For example, search for [empire state building] and zoom in all the way to get to the heart of New York City. [They]'ve also added transit information for 8 major U.S. cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.), as well as nationwide Amtrak coverage." Google Maps also started to show real-time traffic data for many important areas in the US.

Gmail became a public beta and was promoted with four amateurish videos on YouTube. We also found out that Google will start to sell more storage space for Gmail.

Google apps added a premium version, mostly business-oriented, with 10 GB email accounts, 99.9% guaranteed uptime, phone support and APIs. They'll still offer free versions for education institutes, small organizations and personal use. But the move caused another wave of comparisons with (wrong) Microsoft products, mostly with Office, as Google Apps started to include Google Docs & Spreadsheets.

Google faced an unusual business proposal and is closer than ever to include charts in Google Spreadsheets (they'll be rendered as SVG objects in Firefox and VML in Internet Explorer), but I'm sure that people will still want pivot tables and macros.

It's interesting to see Google offering non-advertising supported services. If successful, they could become an important part of their revenue and a sign of maturity.

Read more:
All the posts from February

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