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December 30, 2009

Last Year's Predictions for 2009

Last year I tried to anticipate some Google-related events from 2009. Let's see if I was right.

1. 10% market share for Google Chrome.

No, Google Chrome's market share is about 4% (3.93% in November, according to Net Applications).

2. Google's search engine will lose a significant amount of market share as Live Search's position will consolidate.

Live Search's relaunch was successful, but Microsoft didn't manage to convince too many users to switch from Google to Bing. Google and Bing increased their market share in 2009, while Yahoo and Ask have a declining market share.

3. Google's Q&A service, used to implement Google help forums, will become a part of Google Apps.

No, not this year.

4. GrandCentral will be publicly available in the US and the interface will integrate with Gmail.

It's not publicly available, but more people can use it. According to a Google report, there are more than 1.4 million users in the US.

5. Google will launch a mobile browser for feature phones and non-Android smart phones.

Google decided to focus on Android.

6. The popular Google Bookmarks service will improve the way you manage bookmarks, by adding hierarchical labels, sharing options and more intuitive visualizations.

Google continues to ignore its bookmarking service.

7. Google will bring some of the Chrome features to other browsers.

Google Toolbar added the "new tab page" and Google Chrome Frame lets you open web pages using Chrome inside Internet Explorer.

8. Google Translate will be seamlessly integrated with many Google services and applications.

A lot of Google services integrate with Google Translate: Google Docs, Google Groups, Gmail, Google Toolbar and more.

9. Google Reader will list popular posts shared by the community and you'll be able to subscribe to OPML files dynamically (the changes will reflect in your subscription list).

There's a "popular items" section in Google Reader, a "what's popular" gadget for iGoogle and you can subscribe to feed bundles, but they're not dynamic.

10. Google Maps Live - Google's service will showcase webcams that stream from all around the world, it will include a tab for Google Earth and the most recent custom maps, reviews and map edits from your contacts.

Google Maps added a layer for webcams and the new social search feature lets you find interesting reviews written by your friends.

11. Google Contacts will become a separate application, it will offer advanced search and an option to synchronize contacts data.

Google Contacts is now available at http://www.google.com/contacts, the search feature has been improved, but it's still difficult to synchronize contacts.

12. Google's efforts to promote Chrome will change people's perception about Google, which will be increasingly associated with Microsoft.

Not everybody is happy to see Google promoting its browser on the homepage, in YouTube and across the web.

13. Many high-profile Google employees, including Marissa Mayer, will leave the company.

Marissa Mayer didn't leave Google, but a lot of top executives left Google this year.

14. Google Apps will start to be attractive again once the App Engine will be fully released.

Google Apps had a great year, but it wasn't because of the App Engine. "Companies around the world are moving to the cloud with Google Apps, and we just crossed the two million customers milestone," mentioned Google's blog in November. Google managed to double the number of customers that use Google Apps.

15. Personalized search ads for users that are logged in.

Google started to personalize content ads and to show ads that are related to your previous Google searches.

16. OneGoogle - a new interface that merges all Google applications so you can quickly switch between Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs without opening a new tab or losing your work.

No, there's no unified interface for the desktop.

13 comments:

  1. I wish that most of these had actually happened. Copy this list and put it on a wish list to send to Google for 2010.

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  2. good thing you had not predicted anything for google talk ;P

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  3. I think most of your predictions were based on what we want. Too bad most of them didn't come true, a lot of these things need to be looked at. At very least, I applaud your efforts!

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  4. In regards to #6: Chrome syncs bookmarks to Google Docs where you can sort them into folders. I would expect Google Booksmarks to eventually get merged into Docs as well.

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  5. I have to say that I was skeptical about prediction #2--I'm glad it didn't come true. :)

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  6. Google search engine continues to dominate after all the years. even leaves web pundits behind.

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  7. I think for #16, Google is betting on Chrome OS to do that. Or just Chrome in general.

    There is also the Google Dashboard now so you can at least have some control over all products from one location.

    I agree i would still love to see a more unified google interface.

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  8. OMG! I can't believe it was last year. Passed so soon.

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  9. Wow Alex that's a seriously low strike rate. You clearly haven't learnt (or learned if you're an American) how to play this game like the professional analysts. They either predict sure things they already know happen to be in the pipeline or they forecast dates so far ahead that everyone has forgotten by the time the date rolls around.

    Let's hope this year's predictions fare better.

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  10. "16. OneGoogle - a new interface that merges all Google applications so you can quickly switch between Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs without opening a new tab or losing your work."

    you should fix this, there actually is one service that google has, Dashboard which is sort of compiling all your information into it and connecting it, however you can not interact with it like oh say a web OS, it's not the switching between them without opening a new tab sort of thing. However it's a start.

    http://google.com/dashboard

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  11. " Bill Bennett said on December 31, 2009 11:12 PM PDT:
    Wow Alex that's a seriously low strike rate. You clearly haven't learnt (or learned if you're an American) how to play this game like the professional analysts. They either predict sure things they already know happen to be in the pipeline or they forecast dates so far ahead that everyone has forgotten by the time the date rolls around.

    Let's hope this year's predictions fare better."

    No he shouldn't change how he predicts this stuff, they are valid predictions, if his predictions are wrong, that's fine, they may still come true. It's a prediction. you know Bill, your not a very good Blogger yourself, don't bash someone's work even if you don't like it. Encourage the person, help em out!

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  12. I didn't feel any of them, but I did experience some effects on the Panda update.

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