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Google+ now has 10 million users -- even Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly onboard, scoping out his rival.  (Source: Google+)

Chrome is now the world's fastest growing web browser, with 160 million users.

Google co-founder Larry Page seems to be handling the pressures of being CEO well.  (Source: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Google+ and the Chrome browser are also success stories

In the face of concerns about legal attacks from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), and earnings concerns, Google Inc. (GOOG) continues to show it isn't leaving its starring role in the tech industry anytime soon.  The smartphone and internet search leader on Thursday reported a record revenue of $9.03B USD.  GAAP net income (profit) was at an impressive $2.51B USD.

The strong showing should go a ways to dispelling the cloud of pessimism that has surrounded Google in recent weeks.  Indeed Google stock has soared up 13 percent in pre-market trading.

The pickup of Google+ has been particularly impressive.  New chief executive Larry Page regaled the audience of the earnings call with figures.  Namely, he revealed that Google+ had reached 10 million users, despite being invite only and only in existence for a few weeks.  He also indicated that Google+ users are very active on their new social network, sharing over 1 billion links a day with their friends.

Mr. Page even took the opportunity to deliver a bit of a shot at rival Facebook's loose privacy controls.  He states [transcript], "Our goal with Google Plus is to make sharing on the Web like sharing in real life, as well as to improve the overall Google experience. Circles lets you choose with precision who you’re sharing with. Not surprisingly, this has been very well received, because in real life we share different things with different people."

Facebook users will recognize the hidden meaning here; the world's largest social network has clumsy privacy controls that in most cases result in sharing things with all your friends -- or in some peoples' cases -- all the world.  Google clearly is a bit more privacy-conscious.

Google's Chrome web browser is also doing quite well.  The company reports it has 160 million users.  Mr. Page remarks, "Chrome is the fastest growing browser."

Turning to Android, Google's smart phone juggernaut, Google says that it now has 135 million active devices.  This total is significantly lower than Apple's, which has 200 million iOS devices active as of June.  Of course, much of the differential is likely due to the iPod Touch -- which has no major Android competition -- and the iPad tablet -- which has vastly outsold Android tablets.

In phones the numbers are likely much closer, but unfortunately neither company broke down the active device numbers into categories.  The closest clue with regards to the health of iOS versus Android is the number of phone activations a day.

Apple in June said it was at 275,000 a day.  In June, Google said it was at 500,000 a day, with Android Manager Andy Rubin declaring on Twitter that activations were increasing at a 4.4 percent weekly growth.  During the earnings call Google seemingly confirmed this growth rate, by announcing activations of 550,000 handsets a day, a figure Mr. Page calls "a huge number, even by Google’s standards."

Looking back, in April Google was at 350k activations, so the growth has indeed been impressive.  Apple chief executive Steven P. Jobs has claimed that Google is lying about its activation totals, believing his company is still ahead, despite the large gap in the reported totals.

Google still trails Apple in apps and app downloads.  At the earnings call Mr. Page announced total app downloads had reached 6 billion, well behind the 15 billion downloads Apple users have logged.

Mr. Page brushed off monetization concerns about the company's core products, such as Android, Google+, and the Chrome browser.  He comments, "Now people rightly ask, how will we monetize these businesses? Of course, I understand the need to balance the short-term with the longer-term needs, because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation. But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search."

"And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time. Well-run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term."

Overall, the earnings serve as reassurance that all Google's key properties are firing on all cylinders, competitively.  However, outside concerns, such as lawsuits and antitrust investigations remain serious obstacles for Google.



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Something interesting happened...
By Iaiken on 7/15/2011 11:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've been on Google+ since the closed beta when only people from inside Google could send out invites and I've since managed to smuggle over almost everyone I actually know.

Watching my streams, something interesting is happening on G+ that I'd never seen in my years on Facebook. People are actually sharing more and in increasingly fun and intimate ways. I think the reason behind it is the additional layer of privacy that Google+ allows for. People (at least the ones I know) have been quick to catch on to the fact that well organized social circles allow you to restrict who can see what.

This has lead to a massive amount of candid limited visibility posts between friends as if a layer of self-censorship had been peeled away. You can talk jovially with friends, professionally with colleagues and candidly with family without the worry of upsetting members of the other groups.

It's pretty awesome to watch this come about organically and to watch the tide of "how do I ..." posts subside.

Kudos Google on out Facebooking Facebook.




RE: Something interesting happened...
By icanhascpu on 7/15/2011 12:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kudos Google on out Facebooking Facebook.


I think FB only pretended to be something it wasn't. So I think its less Google out FBing them, and more actually doing what everyone assumed it should have been doing all along.

When 3rd part apps start appearing more, G+ will expload. Heres to hoping the handle apps well.


RE: Something interesting happened...
By jimbojimbo on 7/15/2011 12:49:58 PM , Rating: 1
I'm already looking forward to filtering out any stupid farming updates or gang wars BS.

The one thing I really want is the ability to filter out comments by key words. Some friends feel it's their duty to talk about every game in every sport. Who cares? Filter!!


By fleshconsumed on 7/15/2011 1:24:16 PM , Rating: 2
If you click 'X' by the farmville updates FB should give you a choice to hide farmville updates. Works for me and any other FB game.


RE: Something interesting happened...
By Slyne on 7/15/2011 3:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the main restriction I put on my Facebook posts is not that they will be visible to too many "friends", it's that they will be stored in Facebook's datacenters, ready for further data mining by FB themselves or some enterprising hacker that eventually manages to swipe their data.

Call me paranoid, but I certainly don't trust Google any more than Facebook on that concern.


By MartyLK on 7/15/2011 6:54:25 PM , Rating: 1
I know I feel more secure with G+ than I ever allowed myself to be with FB. Especially since the FB creator was...and maybe still is...a jerk. I won't ever forget what was reported of him saying certain people were "stupid fucks" for trusting him with their private info.


"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs














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