Google Books and GMail Plans
Google has not had anything big for us since it went public some time ago. Now, it is back with some news that could worry biggies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It has decided to get into book selling business. The service is called Google Print and would be unveiled in a press conference at Frankfurt Book Fair.
What is interesting in this news is that Google will not be selling the books itself. It would instead incorporate book search into the regular Google Search. If a user searches for some content from a book that is available on Google Print, he will get an option to view excerpts from it online. In addition, from that section he will get options to buy the book from various business partners of Google offering the book. Google on the other hand would profit from content relevant ads running on these search pages.
Google is now inviting publishers to send the books they want to make available in Google search to them where they will be scanned and merged into Google Search for free! In addition, Google has already collaborated with companies like Penguin and Scholastic to get access to a large variety of books.
Will Google Print make Google a direct competitor to Amazon? In Germany Google spokesman Stefan Keuchel â€œdownplayed questions that Google Print would be a rival service to Amazonâ€™sâ€ according to Rueters. Keuchel told Rueters that Google and Amazon plan to continue their business alliance and that Google plans to link to a variety of online retailers, including Amazon, for users who wish to purchase a book. â€œItâ€™s an advantage for publishers because it offers them the possibility to promote books online. And for users it gives them the advantage of accessing information about authors and books and even to read a little from the books,â€ Keuchel said.
On the other hand, some GMail users would have seen the new offering from Google. They are currently testing mail-forwarding facility in GMail, which is reportedly free during testing. A clear indication that many of the future services (POP/IMAP support) would come at a price. Also, an Atom RSS feed link was visible for sometime in the GMail interface which is now surprisingly gone, pointing towards a possibility of checking GMail from mail aggregators. Overall, very much visible that Google guys are not sitting idle after becoming billionaires!
Sushubh Mittal is the publisher of Software news at Software Journal and Tech Consultant to the Search Engine Journal.