Top 10 Google Predictions For 2011
Legal Hurdles, Google Maps, And Acquisitions
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8. Ongoing Legal And Regulatory Hurdles
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In 2011, Google will make some token concessions to end the European Commission's antitrust inquiry. In the U.S., there will be more federal inaction related to privacy and online advertising. The government will allow Google's acquisition of ITA Software to go forward.
Google will win another round in its legal battle against Viacom when the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit upholds a lower court's ruling that YouTube is not guilty of copyright infringement.
Meanwhile, Oracle's lawsuit against Google over Android and Java will continue to enrich a number of Silicon Valley attorneys.
Next year, sometime between April and July, Google will announce that it will not seek a permit from the Chinese government to provide map services in China. To do otherwise following revelations in the Wikileaks cables that the Chinese government oversaw the December 2009 cyber attack on the company would be a humiliating reversal of Google's stand against censorship.
Google will continue to provide access to Google Maps through its Hong Kong Web site. Google will again ask the U.S. government to treat censorship as a trade barrier and the U.S. government, having become a less credible defender of free speech through its attempt to silence Wikileaks, will continue to fail to push for trade sanctions against countries that engage in censorship-based protectionism.
9. Google Maps Goes App
In June, Apple will launch the iPhone 5 with its own map application pre-installed instead of Google's. Google will submit Google Maps as a standalone app and it will get approved.
10. Fewer Acquisitions
Google won't buy as many companies as it did in 2010 (26 as of early December) but it will acquire a mobile payment startup that's doing something interesting with near field communication (NFC) technology. (Three days after a draft of this story was filed, Google acquired Canadian mobile payments startup Zetawire.)
Here's a two more "bonus" predictions for the coming year. Google will close Knol in 2011. The service doesn't get enough traffic to be measured by comScore. Regular updates to Knol, common in 2009, haven't been reported since last December. And for the first time in years, Google will manage to avoid a major privacy snafu.
That's the way the crystal ball looks at the end of 2010. Your reality may vary.
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