With 2016 in the books, Google is a moving forward from its internal reorganization and is getting ready to unleash a few advancements. These developments will create new opportunities for the company and its customers for years to come. While Waymo, the company’s autonomous driving spinoff, is set to make a splash in the new year. Some technology analysts have started to look deeper into Google’s pipeline to see what else they have on the cards.
Three potential advancements which might see further advancement in 2017 including increased integration of Chrome and Android, improvements to Google Assistant, and TV. Advancements in each of these three areas will address strategic opportunities which have cropped up over the years. This is not to say that Google does not have a solution currently available; but rather that the internet behemoth is not currently the dominant player.
In the past year, Microsoft has made great strides to create a seamless experience for desktop and mobile users. This is not to say that Edge is a superior browser. In fact, Microsoft’s replacement to the long-running Internet Explorer market share is dwarfed by Google’s Chrome. However, Microsoft efforts do pose a threat to Chrome’s dominance. The key advantage for Google is the popularity of the company’s Android mobile operating system.
The leg up is by no means permanent. While Microsoft won the ‘browser wars’ in the 1990’s. Remember Netscape? Google could build a better product which ultimately came out on top. The irony being that dominance may tend to breed complacency and Android/Chrome integration might be a way to break out of this trap.
Virtual Assistants ended up being the tech toy which won Christmas 2016. Unfortunately for the search engine giant, its Google Home ended up playing second fiddle to Amazon’s offering. While questions of privacy and security surround these devices, consumers are interested. This creates a massive opportunity to extend its reach through an entirely new category – one which could be even more groundbreaking than mobile. However, Google is currently playing catch up to Amazon and while the market is still young, it should seek to leverage its Artificial Intelligence (AI) and application ecosystem to gain share.
The last opportunity is television, which is another market where Google is not on the cutting edge – despite the overwhelming advantage YouTube enjoys. The irony being that YouTube brought streaming video into the mainstream. But that early advantage has been lost of companies like Netflix and Hulu which have raked in billions on monthly membership fees.
Part of the problem has been finding content providers willing to partner with Google. As of 2016, Sony was the only major company to partner with Google on Chromecast. This presents a tremendous opportunity for the company. Maybe Google will enter talks to partner with Netflix, or it could seek to cobble together agreements with the networks and companies like HBO. Either way, it must do something or TV will be lost as Netflix and Amazon solidify their positions in this space.
Shares of Google were trading up 1.67% as part of a broader rally on the first day of the new trading year.