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Does Getting Acquired by Google Means End of Innovation ?

Google, the undisputed web search leader and online advertising king, has acquired numerous companies and products in the last few years but what happens to these "cool projects" once they enter the Googleplex ?

Let's take a trip down memory lane:

February 2003: Google acquired Pyra Labs, the developers of Blogger but it was only in August 2006 that Google upgraded Blogger to add Categories, RSS feeds, etc. That's like a 3½ year wait.

Doc Searls also wonders why Google has improved Blogger so little in these years. His suggestion is to open-source Blogger's code and bring back "pro" accounts to make Blogger a paid service.

July 2004: Google acquires Picasa and Hello photoblogging software from IdeaLab. While Google has continued the development of Picasa, the Hello plugin for Blogger has not been updated ever since it entered the Google stable. [Latest Version 1.0 released in January 2005]

November 2005: Google acquired Urchin web analytics software and renamed it as Google Analytics. While the service has gained enough adoption after Google released it for free, no new features have been added to Urchin even after an year of staying at the Googleplex. No integration with Adsense yet.

February 2006: Google acquired Measure Map, a popular blog statistics package, from Adaptive Path. There were enough speculations that Google will either integrate Measure Map features in Google Analytics or release this as a free tool for bloggers, especially those using blogspot platform.

Unfortunately, there has been no news about Measure Map from Google ever since they bought the company.

March 2006: Google acquires Sketchup 3D Software and releases the software for free. With Sketchup, anyone can draw impressive 3D models for Google Earth or publish them to Sketchup Warehouse.

However, we haven't seen a single feature added to this amazing 3D software application ever since it became part of the Google empire.

Other Interesting Google buyouts: Writely (Google Docs) and Youtube.