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Google also shuffles several projects as part of its "spring clean"

Google Inc. (GOOG) continues to be strongly profitable, leads the world in search engine traffic, and makes the world's most-used smartphone OS.  But in recent weeks the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has been doing a bit of "spring cleaning".  It previously announced that after a decade SVP Andy Rubin was leaving the Android team to work on other undisclosed projects at Google; stepping in for him was Chrome and Android apps SVP Sundar Pichai.

I. Commerce/Mapping Unit Splits, Merges Into Other Units

Now Google is doing more rattling of the executive ranks.

Geo and commerce SVP Jeff Huber, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, will move to manage Google X, Google's experimental development unit, which is cooking up projects such as self-driving cars and the Google Glass wearable computer.  The mapping unit will be merged with the search unit, which will remain under the supervision of SVP of "Knowledge" (search) Alan Eustace. 

The commerce part of Mr. Huber's former unit will be merged into the advertising unit, under SVP Susan Wojcicki.

Google executives
Jeff Huber (left), Susan Wojcicki (center), and Alan Eustace (right) are the Google SVPs involved in the latest shakeup. [Image Source: Google]

Mr. Huber formerly worked at Internet service provider Excite@Home and eBay, Inc. (EBAY) before joining Google in 2003.  He was among the engineers to be promoted when Larry Page took over the reins as CEO in 2011.

A Google spokeswoman appears to partially confirm these shifts, commenting, "Jeff is an extraordinary executive. He just finished his first decade at Google—having worked on some of our most complicated issues like ads, apps, payments and geo—and now he is eager to work in more of a startup-like environment."

II. Some Services Get Closed or Cut

In addition to the leadership shuffle, Google is discontinuing several services.  

Among the shuttered services include:
  • Google Cloud Connect
    It's shuttering the document exchange service as it says it's redundant with Google Drive.
  • Google Voice App for Blackberry
    A cross-platform HTML5 app is an effective replacement.
  • Apps Script (GUI Builder and five UiApp widgets )
    Project is refocusing on Html Service.
  • Snapshot Desktop for Macintosh and Windows
    No explanation given; the mobile counterparts will live on, though.
Google is also effectively closing several open source or community-driven efforts.  Those projects include:
  • Google Building Maker
    No explanation given; people will no longer be able to add 3D models of buildings -- Google staff will do that.
  • Search API for Shopping
    Google is close sourcing this to try to promote its Google Shopping service.
Shopping cart
Google is closing off its Shopping API. [Image Source: Uth Mag]

While Google regularly scraps less successful projects, these moves still tend to attract a lot of attention.  Google remains one of the biggest proponents of open source software, but moves like closing the Shopping API will surely fuel fears that its open ethos is waning in its search for better monetization.

Sources: WSJ, Google

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RE: They also removed AdBlock from the Play Store
By Alexvrb on 3/15/2013 12:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
They're a for-profit advertising company first and foremost. They embrace that which they can use to grow market share, and once they've domininated they do as they please. They've become rather good at appearing benign, too. But look at how much cash Google rakes in. Google's biggest profit maker and best-selling product is the people who use their software.

Oh and open source? They don't give a fluck about open source. They use it when it benefits them. They used the Linux kernel because it provided them with a free ready-made kernel to build their OS on, and lots of continuous free labor. Plus it's another way to look good and get the community to embrace them. Most of the Google-owned stuff is not proper open source, but rather a "we release the code via drops if and when we feel like it".

RE: They also removed AdBlock from the Play Store
By GotThumbs on 3/15/2013 8:53:47 AM , Rating: 3
What company is NOT for-profit?

Your rant goes against logic/reasoning regarding a business that has done so much for technology and innovation.

If you don't like anything they do/build, then don't use/buy them.

Apple currently has billions in the bank, their OS and IOS are also based on Linux and they clearly operate a "Closed Ecosystem" where an IProduct owner can only add content to their IDevice using Itunes......which is Apples software/marketplace. Also, Apple does NOT license their OS's for any other hardware than their you really need to think about what your spewing.

Your rant wreaks of Apples current marketing campaign....bash the competitor, while offering nothing of any substance.

Best Wishes,

By tayb on 3/15/2013 9:48:37 AM , Rating: 2
He literally didn't mention Apple either directly or indirectly in his entire post. Apparently on this site attacking Google for legitimate reasons means supporting Apple. I guess we deal only in absolutes here. Either you love Google or you love Apple. Perfect picture of America politics right here.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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