Business Today

Fresh from the Google lab

Google’s ‘launch early, launch often’ philosophy means it’s continuously introducing new products and refining old ones. Here’s an update.

     Print Edition: September 6, 2009

Google’s ‘launch early, launch often’ philosophy means it’s continuously introducing new products and refining old ones. Here’s an update.

GOOGLE VOICE

What is it?
Think of it as a phone number provided by Google that ties together all your other numbers.

User benefits:
No more multiple devices or lost calls. Voice also comes with attractive pricing. The service will allow you to store all your calls and voicemails online.

What does Google get out of this?
This is Google’s first “official” foray into telecommunications, and like the Internet, it wants to be the dominant service provider here as well.

Is it available here?
No, it is currently only available in the US. Current rules do not allow Mobile Virtual Network Operators in India.

STRONGER SEARCH

What’s new?
It is all over the place. As Google faces up to new competition from Microsoft’s Bing, it has made its search more customised. Users who are logged into Google can “edit” their search results, pushing up what they find important and deleting inane ones. They can also comment on search results. This human interaction makes Search results more dynamic and allows Google to mine data as well as refine its algorithms.

GOOGLE WAVE

What is it?
Wave tries to integrate all your online communication — e-mail, chat, voice — into one screen.

Huh?
Think of it like this: If you and your colleagues are putting a project together, you can work simultaneously using Google Wave, creating content, adding pictures and embedding video all at once, in real time. If your boss does not like the final draft, he or she could move the timeline back and forth to see how the project progressed.

Is it available yet?
Google Wave is currently an ‘Alpha’ release, which means very, very few people have access to it. But expect a “Beta” launch by 2010.

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