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Google tackles a new market with old media

It's telling and rather ironic that Google's first TV commercials support its 9-month-old Chrome, last spotted battling Opera for market share at the ass end of the Web-browser wars. For all that's been said about the Big G's "natural monopoly" in search, companies must adapt, grow and diversify to thrive. No monopoly lasts forever. Just ask AT&T. Eventually, Yahoo!, MSN or—more likely—some service being dreamed up now in a dorm room somewhere will supplant Google at the top of the search heap. No product stays No. 1 for all time. Just ask Netscape. Or Friendster. Or MySpace. Google will need new and vital offerings to keep itself at the forefront. One or two successful extensions might be enough. Just ask Apple. Ultimately, Google's foray into old-school mass media to tout Chrome underscores that the firm is neither evil nor omniscient. It's just another company, on top now but pressured by other search firms, social media and government regulators. Chrome's launch and the subsequent ad play can be interpreted as the company asking itself, "For Google, what comes next?" That's the right question, but it ranks among the few the company's iconic search window can't answer for certain.

—Posted by David Gianatasio

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