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Google+ tremors rattle Apps suite

Juan Carlos Perez | April 29, 2014
The surprising departure of Google+ chief Vic Gundotra has ignited uncertainty and speculation about the product's future, including its place in the workplace Apps suite.

So far, Google+ hasn't undermined Facebook's position as the world's largest social networking service.

The speculation and reports following the news of Gundotra's exit have been very pessimistic. Quoting anonymous sources, technology news sites Re/code and Techcrunch separately reported that Google+'s staff and main features — like its activity stream, photos and Hangouts — may be spun off and attached to other products.

Asked for comment, a Google spokeswoman said via email that the announcement last week "has no impact on our Google+ strategy — we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos."

If reports that Google+ will be broken up into pieces are true, the activity stream is likely to end up in some form in Apps so that the suite can stand up competitively against Office 365 and Yammer, according to Forrester's Keitt. He also said it's likely Hangouts will be a core part of Apps, given Google's moves to strengthen its offerings for workplace video conferencing.

In February, Google launched a hardware bundle called Chromebox for Meetings that is designed to work best in conjunction with Apps, and the company also co-developed with Vidyo software that links Hangouts with legacy video conferencing systems.

 

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