CNN suggests that Google may be planning an email service and morphing itself into a portal:Adding an e-mail service would provide a potential boost to Google as its technology lead in the search market seems destined to narrow and it prepares to answer to growth-hungry shareholders, analysts said.
"I'm sure Google is getting more and more concerned about locking in users. It wouldn't surprise me if they did something very sophisticated with e-mail," said Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch.com, who tracks the industry. By moving into e-mail -- the Web's most-used program -- Google would open up a huge new market for its lucrative "sponsored links" advertising business that delivers ads tied to keywords in Web searches or on content pages, analysts said."If they were to go the e-mail route they'd have to provide an offering that competes with free [e-mail]. Anti-spam is one form of strong differentiation," said Jim Pitkow, chief executive of Moreover Technologies.
Google's ambitions are obviously increasing. It needs to cover as many bases as possible before its IPO. The temptation is now to do many things - what else would one expect from a company which is likely to have USD 2-4 billion in the bank shortly? I feel that these are distractions - there's plenty to be done on Search itself. I will be writing a Tech Talk series on Seacrh from the Indian market perspective next week.