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Is Google Trying Minimalism or is It Gathering Strength?
Is Google Trying Minimalism or is It Gathering Strength?
By: Bikram K Singh

The drive that Google began in September 2011 seems to be consolidating in 2012.For many years, Google has been running all around the web collecting junks, creating useless products, and testing different ideas – a few of them worked and a lot of them failed (Read Can Small Business Bank on Google to know about some failed experiments of Google).

In the process, Google brought a lot of dust and debris home, which even its mother didn’t like, so in September 2011 the search giant took on itself of clean up its house and tidy up things. The drive began with cleaning up non-performing lesser-known products and then went on to clear up products which were non-performing, but were slightly popular (obviously for the wrong reasons). Google Buzz falls in this category.

The “make tidy” drive didn’t end with “the Spring Clean up,” but it continued, and on March 01, 2012, it announced a consolidated privacy policy for all Google products. For many people, it appeared to be the end of Google’s “clean up home and please your mom” drive, but things went ahead.

…and thus came Google Play

This week Google has bid adieu to Android market, Google eBookstore, and Google Music and clubbed all three services into one and called it Google Play.

Google is trying hard to remain relevant in markets other than search and mail, and it is trying everything possible under the sun. The new drive to clean up its home and throw the junks away is seen as a firm step forward.

In a blog post announcing the release, Jamie Rosenberg, Director of Digital Content, wrote, “with Google Play you can:

  1. Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  2. Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
  3. Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
  4. Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles.”

Rebranding Android market may not be a very wise move, but combining  Google Music and Google eBookstore in Google play is, indeed, a nice move. This is a nice way to bring its lesser-known applications in the public consciousness.

But not everyone is happy about it

If keeping its mom happy was the only goal of Google then by doing the cleanup it might have succeeded, but it has rubbed Apple and Amazon the wrong way, while doing so.

The aim behind Google’s move appears to be much more than mere cleaning up. By consolidating its offerings, Google has created a tool in Google Play which will cut evenly through the market share of Apple and Amazon, the two big daddies of digital content.

Google has already made a big dent in iOS forte (OS used for iPad, iPhone, and iTouch), and by offering digital music, it is posing a challenge to iTunes. And by bringing its book offering on the forefront, it may pose challenge to digital books market of Amazon.

Is it a nice move?

This is the question we all should think about. Earlier Google has attempted the same strategy against Twitter (remember Buzz), but it failed. In the light of that experiment, engaging two giants in a battle does not look like a wise move, but then it is too early to say so, and Google is also no minnow.