THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Google Going After Southeast Asia's Rise In Internet And Social Media Usage

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GOOG Flat In Mixed Market 
Stocks are mixed this morning on impressive earnings from Caterpillar overshadowed by higher than anticipated claims for unemployment benefits. Shares of GOOG are also conflicted, trading relatively flat early in the session. Upcoming catalysts include transition of the executive team; continued Android momentum in smartphones and tablets; regaining ground in China and success in pushing into other Asian regions; updated software, adoption and media partners for Google TV; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 15x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.

Google Targets Southeast Asia As Area For Growth (The Wall Street Journal)
As part of its push to expand in Southeast Asia, Google is opening a new office in Kuala Lumpur, its first new Asia office in four years. The search giant is seeing the market as a lucrative place to be as Internet traffic is rising and the use of technology and social-networking platforms is gaining speed. Southeast Asia, like China, also presents significant challenges for technology companies. And we all know what happened there. Let’s see what Larry can do.

Google To Have More Than 30,000 Employees At The End Of This Year (eWeek)
After hiring more than 4,500 full-timers in 2010, Google is adding more than 6,200 new workers in 2011. The company, in its bid to go to over 30,000 workers this year, can’t tout itself as having a start-up-type environment, that’s no longer the case. So where is Google looking? Most likely to will build out its on-the-street ad sales force to propel Google Places, Google Boost and Google Tags. Not to mention engineers in social and gaming. Read more at Business Insider.

Android Contains Directly Copied Java Code In Test Areas (Engadget)
Google copied Oracle’s Java code, pasted in a new licence, and shipped it. Whoops. And thus a lawsuit. But the two sets of files in question were only in test areas, they didn’t ship with the Android OS. If the files were not vital to the Android OS why were they there? Seems harmless, but Oracle doesn’t think so. Google has since removed all the files from the source code. But the damage is done.

Android Chasing iOS In Smartphone And Tablet Developer Interest (IDC)
IDC surveyed 2,200+ developers about their mobile app strategies to find out what’s next. A few takeaways:

  • Expect more iPad apps this year. Developers are just as interested in the iPad as Android.
  • Developers will continue to focus on Android, at the detriment of all but Apple. Interest in Android tablets is stronger than HP or RIM tablets, and almost as strong as the iPad.
  • Developers think Android tablets need to be cheap, rather than have a great OS if they’re going to succeed.
  • RIM, Microsoft and HP-Palm have a lot to do to gain developer mind share.

Check charts and commentary from Jay Yarow at Business Insider.

iOS Extends Lead Over Android In Enterprise Adoption (VentureBeat)
Enterprise mobile services vendor Good Technology reported a 64% increase in the iPad’s share of all device activations over the past quarter among its 2,000+ companies deploying mobile devices. The jump extended Apple’s iOS lead over Android, with more than twice as many device activations over all in 2010. Android device activations haven’t grown much since the last report, accounting for 40% of all smartphones activated for enterprise use. But the operating system’s performance on tablets was less than stellar due to the iPad’s dominance in the space.

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