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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.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.