Google In 2016: 11 Predictions - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
12/28/2015
10:06 AM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
50%
50%

Google In 2016: 11 Predictions

Will Google prevail in its legal battles over Android and its search business? Will it thrive under Alphabet? Here are our predictions for Google in 2016.

8 Hot Tech Jobs Getting Big Salary Bumps In 2016
8 Hot Tech Jobs Getting Big Salary Bumps In 2016
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google as, it began, is no more. It has been reorganized and now operates as a subsidiary of Alphabet. Yet in its diminished role, it still generates the bulk of Alphabet's revenue. And it remains the focus of my ill-advised effort to predict the future.

In late 2014, I made 11 predictions about Google in 2015. I had six hits and five misses. I'd have preferred to do a bit better, but that's the nature of predicting the future. I'm sure inside information would have helped.

(Image: Archive.org)

(Image: Archive.org)

2015 Prediction Scorecard

1. Project Ara gains momentum.

False. Project Ara has yet to emerge from the lab. Its planned trial in Puerto Rico over the summer was cancelled. But competing modular phone projects Fairphone 2 and PuzzlePhone have been progressing.

2. Google adapts Hangouts and/or Chromecast to handle live game broadcasting.

True, through the Google Cast Remote Display APIs. The company also launched YouTube Gaming as a direct competitor to Twitch.

3. Google+ languishes.

True. Google decoupled Google+ from YouTube, so YouTube users no longer need the Google+ Profile that few seemed to want. In November, Google redesigned Google+ to focus on Communities and Collections. It's a modest shift but hardly a renewed commitment of resources.

4. Supreme Court sides with Oracle in Java API case.

True, more or less. The Supreme Court refused to hear Google's appeal of Oracle's appeals court win, which indicates that the justices find the lower court ruling consistent with the law.

5. Google makes EU antitrust settlement offer, and this time it sticks.

False, for now. The EU, under antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, demanded in June that Google change how it operates its search business. Google wants to work things out, but it's unclear whether the EU will compromise.

6. Google buys Belkin or another maker of connected things, but not GoPro.

False. The bulk of Google's acquisitions last year had to do with mobile software or services. But it did develop some IoT technology internally: Brillo and Weave.

7. Google launches paid streaming video service.

True. YouTube Red.

8. Google acquires, invests in, or partners with a 3D printing company.

True. Google Ventures led a $100 million investment round in Carbon 3D.

9. Google's Calico doesn't achieve an anti-aging breakthrough.

True, so far as we know.

[Read Google Cardboard Camera App Expands VR Experience.]

10. Google Glass is repurposed to accommodate Magic Leap's virtual reality system.

False, but Google is reportedly working on a revision of Google Glass, now referred to as Project Aura (not to be confused with Project Ara). And with over a million Google Cardboard headsets out in the world, there's more VR in Google's future.

11. Google buys SideCar.

False. Lesson learned: Be less specific when predicting the future.

So what about 2016?

**Elite 100 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 15, 2016** There's still time to be a part of the prestigious InformationWeek Elite 100! Submit your company's application by Jan. 15, 2016. You'll find instructions and a submission form here: InformationWeek's Elite 100 2016.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
1/16/2016 | 9:56:53 AM
Re: Google+ languishes
I think it will eventually go the way of Buzz.  The key features have already been folded into Gmail (back when Google was trying to claim that Google+ usership was way up by calling all Gmail and all Google-product users Google+ users).  It's a matter of time.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
1/16/2016 | 9:55:35 AM
Re: Google+ languishes
I thought that Google+ Hangouts (much more than those stupid "Circles") were the potential game-changer for Google+ by enabling open videoconferencing (and video-socializing), but I feel they weren't leveraged very well.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
12/28/2015 | 11:26:32 AM
Google+ languishes
Really went out on a limb there with the Google+ prediction!  ;)  That puppy was limping right out of the barrel, and no amount of hyperevangelism from Elgan and Scoble can get normal people to like it (or even +1 it) and use it.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll