atlrus - 12:22 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: atlrus at 12:38 pm (utc) on Oct 5, 2012]
A good example of this is one "knowledge" area they have dominated for a long time and this is maps.
I agree. But, don't forget that maps is their maps, they did not simply use MapQuest's or whatever. Maps, just like Android or any other Google venture, is still funded by the search engine. If they change the model of the search engine and is not a success - all those ventures will be gone, because they are not self sufficient. They are good - as long as they are free.
Google is the only company I can think of that would waste billions of dollars on products with no strategy to recoup their investment. They can do this only because of the waterfall of money coming from the search engine. They have absolutely no business sense beyond adwords, i.e. the search engine. And now that they are publicly listed - all it takes is one mistake with the search engine and they'd be gone. People on WallStreet will put up with Google's shenanigans as long as they keep bringing more and more money from adwords. You show them that you are moving away from tried and proven money machine to something unknown - forget about it.
In addition - you can't buy your way into it. For all the attempts and purchases they've made - Google will never be a player in social networking, for example. Just because you own Frommer's, it doesn't mean people want the knowledge Frommer's has to offer.
I see Google doing it, I just know it will be a failure. It will convert google from a search engine into just another portal. I am certainly looking forward to it. Actually, the more I think about Google going in that direction, the happier I get :)
[edited by: atlrus at 12:38 pm (utc) on Oct 5, 2012]