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Google's future: Predictions for 2009

At the end of each year, the blogosphere is flooded with predictions for the next. It's time for a sneak peak into 2009 for one of the most exciting, and unpredictable, companies in existence -- Google.

At the end of each year, the blogosphere is flooded with predictions for the next. It's time for a sneak peak into 2009 for one of the most exciting, and unpredictable, companies in existence -- Google.

There are a few things that are almost certain to happen in 2009:

  1. There will be several mobile devices that run the Google Android operating system. Android is currently only available on the G1 for T-Mobile, but that will change soon. By the end of 2009, we'll see more manufacturers using Android on their devices, including Motorola and Samsung. In addition to the G1, HTC will be launching more units that run the operating system in 2009.

    The Open Handset Alliance will grow, and more companies will promise to have devices running the open source operating system. The hype around Android will fuel development, and make the Android Marketplace successful.

  2. Google Apps will continue to gain momentum in the Enterprise The longer the economy stays bad, the more attractive Google Apps begins to look for businesses that currently license Microsoft products. It costs an incredible amount of money to legally run things like Microsoft Exchange and Office in-house. Google's Enterprise business will grow at Microsoft's expense this coming year.
  3. Google Chrome makes deal with OEM's, and snags a significant chunk of the browser market It would be almost impossible for Google to dethrone Internet Explorer in 2009 (or even Firefox for that matter). Google will, however, make a deal with OEM's to have Google Chrome installed, and set as the "default" browser on new computers. If this happens, it will have a significant impact on Chrome usage in 2009. I'd predict we could see Google snag as much as 10 to 15 percent of the browser market in the coming year.
  4. GOOG will gain some of the ground it lost on wall street Overall, this was a terrible year for Google -- just as it was with almost every other company because of the economy. As investors become more comfortable with Google's dominant position, and the need for companies to keep their online marketing budgets relatively static, the share price should close in the green for 2009 (but of course, if I could accurately predict this type of thing, I'd probably be on a beach somewhere, so take it with a grain of salt).

Things that might not happen, but could include:

  1. Google could launch an operating system In my opinion, this is a quite unlikely, but there have been rumors floating around that somewhere around 6000 employees at Google have been using a secret operating system. This speculation is based on the fact that the user agent for some web requests originating inside Google have been mysteriously removed.
  2. Google might finally launch GDrive I say this every year, but it hasn't happened yet. I don't have high hopes for this one, but it's worth putting out there.
  3. Google may pull the plug on Google Knol The brand new service that had high hopes before its launch has yet to gain any traction. The amount of content, and the number of contributors is simply not where it needs to be -- so I'm thinking that there is a decent chance that Google will simply pull the plug on this service.
  4. Cost-cutting like never before Google has never been frugal -- they used to jump at any opportunity to make their employees happy. The economy may cause Google to cut costs like never before to make investors happy. It will be interesting to see if Google can somehow avoid the layoff monster -- they have already let go a bunch of people, but they were temp workers on contract instead of full time employees.

Let's hear your predictions in the TalkBack