Google CEO: 'Big bets' on non-core products are worth the risk

Google's core offering may be search, but the company is just as serious about providing in-the-moment information to users with emerging technologies such as Google Now, self-driving cars and Google Glass, CEO Larry Page said during the company's recent earnings call with analysts.

Those products, along with voice-based search and others, may be risky "big bets," but Google doesn't want to be focused only on "incremental technologies," Page said.

"That is why we're investing in what appear to be speculative projects," he added. "[Most companies] never do anything different, and they run into problems for that reason."

During the conference call, financial analysts asked how Google will monetize new products such as Google Now, which functions as a kind of personal digital assistant to automatically give users information as they go about their day.

"I'm not worried about that," Page said. "The better the job we can do in providing users with information without their asking for it, the better we can provide commercial information from people who are excited about promoting it."

For the latest quarter, Google's sales rose by 31% to about $14 billion, driven partly by strong gains in advertising revenue.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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