Google’s Social Scheme Hinges on Fears, Not Fortunes

For years, Google has seemed like a terrifying giant: enormous, powerful and ultimately unassailable. Last week, however, we got a glimpse of what really scares them in Mountain View. Sure, social hasn’t been Google’s strong suit so far, but it isn’t just the question of missed business opportunities that stings them down at the Googleplex. Underneath it all, there’s another complicated motivation to the company’s growing obsession with social: the deep anxiety that the company is turning into what it hates most.

Google’s Past Failures Offer Perspective on Chrome OS Release

The Internet is abuzz over Google’s (s goog) release of the open-source version of its Chrome OS, and for good reason. It’s free, which will save hardware manufacturers licensing fees, and it appears ideally suited for the netbooks that have become such a hot item for the mobile crowd (GigaOM Pro, sub. required). But Chrome is not without its detractors, and it’s worth remembering that Google isn’t King Midas — in fact, there’s a substantial list of Google products and services that have flopped, floundered or simply disappeared into the ether. Here are a few of the most memorable: Read More about Google’s Past Failures Offer Perspective on Chrome OS Release

Google vs. the Real-Time Web

Just how big a threat is the real-time web to Google (s goog)? As Om has pointed out, real-time content marks a still-amorphous but important new phase of evolution in the web, allowing for the instantaneous discovery of newly added information. And Twitter and Facebook are emerging as an alternative to the traditional engine, which presents a big challenge to Google’s core business. As Larry Page admitted this week, the company finally gets that. Read More about Google vs. the Real-Time Web