Philipp and Tony at Blogoscoped spotted that Google had built and put live a login page for its long, long developed Google Health service. The page, which was briefly available at google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=health, contained a Google Health logo and this text:
With Google Health, you can:
- Build online health profiles that belong to you
- Download medical records from doctors and pharmacies
- Get personalized health guidance and relevant news
- Find qualified doctors and connect to time-saving services
- Share selected information with family or caregivers
If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll finally see Health this month. I wonder how it’ll stack up to Microsoft’s Health Vault site, launched four months ago, or if it’s been delayed too late to make a splash.
In an interview Fortune Magazine did with Google’s Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and CEO Eric Schmidt, Google’s head execs revealed that they had made a pact, in 2004 before Google’s IPO, to stick together and run the company. The three agreed at that pivotal moment in their lives to stick together for the next twenty years, all the way through 2024. While that isn’t an unreasonable idea given the young ages of Page and Brin, Schmidt is 52 years old and will be 69 at the end of the agreement.
Now, obviously there’s nothing binding about this agreement, and to be honest it probably isn’t much more than a confidence and camraderie booster, but still, the idea of Eric Schmidt sticking with the company another 16 years certainly can’t sit well with some people, especially if they are regular readers of Valleywag.
For two years, Valleywag has been reporting on Schmidt’s personal life, showing some pretty convincing evidence that Schmidt openly and carelessly dates women other than his wife. While cheating is bad, it’s the careless and wanton disregard for the public’s reaction to his affairs that worries me about Schmidt, and it implies that this CEO will eventually embarrass the company in a spectacularly public way.
Schmidt has certainly proven himself to be more of a survivor than anyone expected. It was assumed he would be replaced as soon as Google stabilized itself following the IPO, but 3 and a half years later, he’s still going strong. Still, 16 years does seem a bit crazy. You think we’ll still be seeing Schmidt running Google in the 2020s?
While Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick looks a little smaller next to Microsoft’s holycrap offer for Yahoo, it is still a major change in the online advertising market, and it is still in the process of being approved. Hopefully, the deal could get final approval from the European Commission this month, according to a research report released yesterday. Google announced the deal ten months ago, the U.S. approved it six weeks ago, and if Europe finally budges, we can all move on with our lives.
Microsoft has made an offer to Yahoo’s board of directors, offering to buy the company for $44 billion. It’s a sweet offer, a lot of money to the company that some firms say has the most traffic on the internet, and would create competitor large enough to compete with Google. I have a detailed article on the deal at InsideMicrosoft, one of the longest I’ve ever written, and encourage you to check it out.
The Weather Channel has been added as a mapplet to Google Maps, letting you click to display weather data in any Google Map. You can add it by going to MyMaps in Google Maps, and browsing the content directory for The Weather Channel Interactive Weather Layers to activate it. Now, whenever you use Google Maps, you’ll have the option on the MyMaps tab to use the layer to view current temperatures, cloud cover, weather radar in the U.S., and have points of interest flagged for you.
In addition, Google has chosen the Weather Channel to provide weather data to Google Earth, with a Weather Channel layer available at all times in the Google Earth sidebar.
Google released its latest earnings report tonight, and Wall Street did not like it. The stock fell in after hours trading almost $40, or about 7%, with over $12 billion in market cap going bye-bye. What was wrong with Google’s earnings?
Revenue for the quarter was $3.39 billion, up over 50% from $2.23 billion a year earlier. Earnings were $1.41 billion, or $4.43 per share, or $1.21 billion including one-time costs, up from $1 billion a year earlier. However, analysts were expecting revenue of $3.45 billion and earnings of $4.44 per share.
Is there really a big deal in that missing $60 million and one cent per share? To investors, yes. For Google, expectations aren’t something it is expected to meet, they are marks Google is expected to exceed. Investors don’t expect Google to make those numbers, they expect Google to beat them, and when it doesn’t, they feel Google no longer can justify that high stock price.
Investors have already been spooked by the collapse of Google’s stock price over the last few weeks, and this earnings report can only make things worse. Google is now $220 below its all-time high, set in November, and $189 lower from where they were just 35 days ago. “Investor confidence” and “Google” are two things that are not on speaking terms at the moment.
In the meantime, Google is trying to calm investors, saying they haven’t seen any signs of a recession slowdown. (Are their eyes closed?) They’re also trumpeting the fact that they only hired 889 people this past quarter, a significant reduction from over 2,100 the previous quarter. However, Valleywag rightly retorts “Are we supposed to applaud Google for expanding headcount at the rate of 24 percent a year? And what, pray tell, are all those 889 new people doing?”