Thursday, June 01, 2006

Google has no plans to launch web browser

location based services

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Wednesday told industry analysts that the top online search engine leader is unlikely to create its own web browser, although the company remains concerned about the prominence that Microsoft's MSN search will be given in the next version of Internet Explorer and the planned launch of the Windows Vista upgrade in early 2007, which will include Explorer.
In an answer to a question during an investor conference call, Schmidt said Google sees little need to develop its own browser because most people seem satisfied with Explorer and rivals such as Firefox, Apple Computer's Safari and Opera.
Google has agreement for the installation of a search toolbar installed in Firefox as part of its partnership with the Mozilla open source software project that launched the browser in 2004.

Last week, it was announced that Google’s search toolbar will appear on the screens of all new Dell systems, and that Dell users will be directed to a web page branded by the two companies.
The software, Dell said, will be included only in machines sold to consumers and to small and medium-sized businesses.
"We would not build a browser just for the fun of building a browser," Schmidt said during the conference call.
Schmidt said that Google is concerned about Microsoft programming the next version of its Internet Explorer to steer more traffic to its own Internet search engine.
"We want to make sure the use of the power of Windows is done in a correct and legally appropriate way," he said.
Google has a 43 percent share of the US market through April, ahead of Yahoo Inc. at 28 percent and Microsoft's MSN at 13 percent, according to tracker comScore Media Metrix.
Google Inc. said that an experiment to sell advertising in print publications has been disappointing, an admission that shows its goal to distribute ads to all kinds of media may face serious hurdles.
Jonathan Rosenberg, a senior vice president for Google, said his company's plan to sell ads in newspapers and magazines "probably hasn't taken off as fast as we would like."
Google executives want to expand what is already the world's biggest online advertising company to other media, including television, radio and direct mail. Last year, Google began to test how to distribute ads to print publications, a program that executives said has yet to garner much success and could require several iterations before it catches on.
Asked about which Google products aside from its search engine will help the company financially and when, Rosenberg said that local-search service Google Maps is "already a pretty significant" contributor. He referred to Google Earth, which leveraged the company's acquisition of Keyhole Inc. to bring together satellite imagery and mapping, as a major success for the company. Earth has helped drive traffic to the local service, he said.
The company spent $332 million on capital expenditures during the first quarter, including $112 million on information technology assets and $41 million on land and buildings.
Chief Financial Officer George Reyes confirmed that Google's hiring program will continue at its recent rate, which has been increasing the company's work force by 14 percent to 20 percent every three months. In the past year, Google nearly doubled its payroll to just under 6,800 employees through March.
Google's stock closed on Nasdaq on Wednesday at $ 371.94. The P/E ratio is 39 compared with 65 in 2005. The shares hit a trading high of $475.11 in mid-January.
Listen to the Investor Conference Call:
Microsoft Media Player

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