Google Has Begun Strategy Shift Away From Apps?

Apparently, there's a shift in strategy occurring behind the doors of Mountain View, with Google concentrating more on its core search business, along with newer social networking ambitions - and emphasising online tools less.

This isn't too much of a surprise considering what we've heard from some ex-Google employees, who left bemoaning the fact that the company is becoming more about driving adverts, and social aspects. An obsession with competing with rival web giant Facebook is certainly one aspect of the dark mutterings.

According to CIO journal, the shift away from the development of apps is highlighted by several factors, namely key staff departures, and a reorganization of the division that oversees the development of Google Apps.

The Apps, which include online office tools, may seem to be getting a lot of development attention, but much of that tweaking has been in the works for a long time. Either that, or it draws from other existing products such as Google+.

The key staff who have exited stage left include Dave Girouard, who was vice president of Apps and president of Google's enterprise business - a big loss for Google, and one which is bound to have an impact.

A source told CIO: "I was personally shocked to see Dave G leave. That [Apps] was his baby, and he was so invested in it."

A number of other higher ranking execs have either left, or been reassigned to other departments within Mountain View.

While Google Apps is hardly being abandoned by any stretch of the imagination, these are certainly signs that a refocusing is underway. Let's not forget, though, that Google's software is used by some 4 million businesses globally, and is certainly successful enough.

However, with the challenge from Microsoft having moved to the cloud with Office 365, that could mean worrying times for Google.

IDC analyst Melissa Webster commented: "I could see Google Apps de-emphasized, or just not funded that aggressively."

She added: "Microsoft is and has always been an enterprise software vendor - they're in it and committed for the long haul, that's their DNA and Office is a strategic product line."

Source: CIO Journal