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Are There More Acquisitions to Come From Google?

If you look up and down the block you live on, you may very well see unemployed people, foreclosures and continuing signs that the economy is in a sinkhole, but don't tell that to Google. Yesterday, the company reported very strong earnings and revenues, and CEO Larry Page chose the word gangbusters to describe the company's trajectory. Google reported quarterly earnings fof $2.73 billion, up from $2.17 billion a year ago. Revenues were $9.72 billion, up from $7.29 billion a year ago.

That's a lot of money but it's also worth noting that Google now has $42.6 billion dollars in the bank. In all likelihood, we'll see some of that heading toward further acquisitions.?

Will Google Continue Subsidizing Mozilla?

For several months now, Google's Chrome browser has been posting larger market share gains, by percentage growth, than open source rivals. In fact, many analysts predict that its market share will overtake Mozilla Firefox's next year. The successful rise of Mozilla?s Firefox browser is a legendary story in the open source community, but many people don't realize that Mozilla gets most of its revenues from Google. In fact, nearly all of Mozilla's revenues come from deals that involve feeding users into search/ad ecosystems. In November of this year, though, Mozilla's deal with Google is up for renewal. Is there a chance that it could go away?

Does Mozilla's Response to Enterprises Focused on Firefox Go Far Enough?

As we reported back in June, while many users applaud the rapid release cycle that Mozilla announced for the Firefox browser back in February, not all IT administrators are among the fans. It's easy for consumers to forget that businesses have much more stringent requirements for accepting new applications of all sorts, including browsers, into mainstream use. There are security concerns, compatibility concerns, and more. Mozilla officials have already announced that they take the protests from the IT community seriously, and have a working group focused on delivering Extended Support Releases (ESRs) specifically for businesses that want to use Firefox. Do these efforts from Mozilla go far enough, though?

Chrome 15 Arrives, as Open Source Browsers Get Down to Brass Tacks

Even as Mozilla moves ahead with a rapid release cycle for the Firefox browser, Google continues to deliver new versions of Google Chrome at a blindingly fast pace. The company has announced that Chrome 15 is now available through the Chrome beta channel. The new release is available in a Linux version, too. Google is also pushing ahead with a TV advertising campaign for Chrome--a move we certainly haven't seen from Mozilla.

Google's Native Client: The Web App Effort Seems to Have Nine Lives

Is Google's Native Client initiative headed anywhere? According to the company, Native Client is an open source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly execute native compiled code inside the browser. We began covering it all the way back in 2008 when it arose out of Google's Native Code efforts. Google has steadily forged ahead with Native Client, and now there are Google officials seeking to give it more momentum, positioning it as a way of democratizing development and programming. In the end, though, Native Client may be another sign that Google is too early to try to convince users that they should do everything in their browsers, eschewing local applications.

Mozilla's Do Not Track Guide Positions Privacy as Key Tech Differentiator

Many users of the Firefox browser already use DNT (Do Not Track) technology to prevent companies and organizations from watching their behavior online and compiling ever-growing databases of their user behavior. This type of technology, of course, doesn't just come from Mozilla; rather, it's widespread in many types of browsers and security products. But therein lies the problem, at least from Mozilla's perspective. The company has been trying its approach to DNT as a standard around which everyone can work. Now, the effort to evangelize it is extending out to corporations and advertisers themselves. Mozilla has published a set of guidelines called The Do Not Track Field Guide.

Why Google's Offline App Strategy will Benefit Chrome OS

Now that Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS--are maturing, it's easier to gauge the prospects for Google's first-ever operating system. As Jon Buys discussed here on OStatic, these portables have a number of strong points. However, there are criticisms appearing about them, too, and some of them echo ones made here on OStatic before. Specifically, Chrome OS imposes a very two-fisted, cloud-centric model for using data and applications, where traditional, local storage of data and apps is discouraged.?? Recently, Google has sought to close this gap with its own apps, allowing users to work with its Gmail, Calendar and Docs apps offline. Will these moves help boost Chrome OS and use of Chromebooks? In enterprises, they may do so.

Mozilla Proceeds with Rapid Firefox Updates, Despite Bumps in the Road

Mozilla announced its intent to pursue a new rapid release cycle early this year, and while the company has taken some criticism for performance problems in new versions, it is true that the rapid release cycle has remained on track. Some of the most heated criticism of the rapid release cycle has come from IT administrators, as we've reported. It's easy for consumers to forget that businesses have much more stringent requirements for accepting new applications of all sorts, including browsers, into mainstream use. Businesses have security requirements surrounding adoption of new applications. That's why recent reports from a former community lead for Mozilla about bugs in Firefox are of concern.

Will Google Stay Committed to an Open Android Strategy?

Back in January, in a post Does Android Have a Forked Future? we explored the fact that Google seemed poised to explore several different paths with its Android mobile OS. Specifically, we noted that with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), Google seemed to be aiming targeted features at tablet developers, while other versions of Android would be more appropriate for smartphones and other devices. Since then, many stories have appeared charging that Google is being less than open with Android, and it's generally accepted that Google won't necessarily release the newest version of Android to all hardware developers at once. With Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition, how likely is it that Google will pursue an even more closed Android strategy?

Does the Google Motorola Deal Bode Badly for the iPhone?

The news about Google's $12.5 billion dollar deal to buy Motorola Mobility has stirred up a lot of discussion about what the impact will be on Android, Apple's iOS, Samsung and many other players in the mobile technology ecosystem. As GigaOM notes: The news is a shocking turn for the fast-growing Android ecosystem, which was built on Google?s operating system but didn?t include any actual hardware built by the company. Android has, of course, been snapping up market share in the smartphone market, and Google's Motorola purchase will make it a big player on the hardware and software sides of that market. But some of the reports claiming that Apple's iOS strategy is doomed seem premature.

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