Google announced its Buzz social networking search feature on Tuesday, and quickly followed up with a fix designed to quell privacy concerns on Friday. However, not everyone is appeased.
Buzz is a feature that Google added to Gmail -- and eventually plans to include in Google Apps and potentially other products -- that adds real-time communications and media sharing, a la Facebook and Twitter, to the e-mail program.
It's not particularly surprising that the name on everyone's lips at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week was Google. Scary, perhaps, that Google has become such a hot topic in the mobile industry so quickly, but these days a lot changes in a year.
How concerned is the industry about Google throwing its weight around in their corner of the world? "We need to be very careful that monopolistic power does not reduce competition or make it more challenging," said Vittorio Colao, CEO of wireless carrier Vodafone.
According to comScore, which measures Internet traffic, Americans conducted 3 percent more online searches in January than in December. That's surprising, since assumptions are that people would do the most Web searching in December to find the perfect holiday gifts at the lowest price.
It's not at all surprising that the Google search engine hosted the majority of searches in January, totaling 65 percent of all searches. That's down 0.3 percent from Google-hosted searches in December, says comScore's most recent monthly report. Yahoo also lost 0.3 percent of search market share in January compared to December, but unlike Google it has been on a steady decline for months. In January it accounted for 17 percent of all searches.
Amid all the buzz about Google Buzz, the company's splashy attempt to pry some of the social networking market away from Twitter and Facebook, Google has announced another interesting -- though seemingly more charitable -- initiative.
The search giant plans to get into broadband, rolling out ultra-fast Internet access in a few select areas.
Almost one month after Google began directly selling the HTC Nexus One smartphone to consumers -- and started getting heat for everything from shoddy customer service to a long list of bugs -- it has begun to make some healthy adjustments.
On Jan. 13, in the face of mounting criticism, Google told the media that the company was taking a flexible approach and was ready to "make changes to our processes and tools, as necessary, for an optimal customer support experience."
Google made big headlines last month with the launch of the Nexus One smartphone and its adventures in China. But the steady growth of its Chrome Web browser may turn out to be an equally important story, particularly with its browser-based Chrome OS on the way.
In January, Chrome climbed to 5.2 percent of the global browser market, up from 4.6 percent in December, according to Web metrics company NetApplications. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Internet Explorer fell from 62.7 percent to 62.2 percent of the market, and Mozilla saw Firefox slip from 24.6 percent to 24.4 percent.