has acquired a company called Picasa that
makes software for organizing and managing
digital photos and that runs a peer-to-peer
network for sharing digital photos, Google
announced on Tuesday.
Google spokesman declined to say how or if
Picasa's technology would be further integrated
into Google's services. Financial details of the
transaction weren't disclosed.
Picasa's technology was integrated into Google's
Blogger service to simplify the publishing and
sharing of digital pictures into Blogger
software for organizing digital photos is
called, like the company, Picasa, and is now on
version 1.6 and sells for $29 (around £18),
according to information on Picasa's Web site.
peer-to-peer network for sharing photos is
called Hello and its access software can be
downloaded for free at http://www.hello.com. The
network can be used with or without the Picasa
photo management software.
runs the world's most widely used search engine,
but it seems interested in broadening its
horizons and building complementary Internet
services around its search functionality. For
example, in April it announced plans to launch a
free Web-based e-mail service.
is a consensus among industry analysts that
users are not very loyal to search engines and
that search engine companies need to build a
suite of services to hold on tighter to their
have said in the past that it is key to
Google's survival to stop being a one-trick pony
and build a broad suite of Internet services
similar to those offered by rivals Microsoft and
Yahoo, with things such as instant messaging,
e-mail, photo album and calendaring services.
analysts have speculated that the money
Google stands to raise from its upcoming initial
public offering will help the company accelerate
the development, creation and acquisition of
services it will need if it is to compete on
equal footing with its rivals. No date has been
set for Google's IPO, for which the company
filed a government registration in April.
most of Google's revenue comes from online
advertising, particularly the type of
"sponsored search" ads that are served
based on the context of a user's keyword search.
However, competition in this space is heating
up, as Yahoo, Microsoft and others are investing
heavily in the search market.
October 2003, Yahoo acquired Overture, a
seller of sponsored search ads, and it is
continually enhancing its own Internet search
technology and integrating it with its other
Web-based services. Meanwhile, Microsoft has
declared the search market a priority and is
developing its own search technology, which
Microsoft hopes will reach information not only
on the Internet but also in other data
repositories, such as proprietary databases and
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