We thought Google already had its hand in just about everything. Mobile phones, broadband, operating systems, web browsers and - of course - search, but we'd missed one out: gaming.
Google has this week quietly acquired 'Labpixies', a Cloud based (naturally) casual gaming company for an undisclosed amount. The two companies have worked together closely in the past with Labpixies one of the first developers to integrate its games into iGoogle when it launched in 2005.
"Recently, we decided that we could do more if we were part of the same team, and as such, we're thrilled to announce the acquisition of Labpixies," said iGoogle Team leader Don Loeb. "The team will be based in our ever-growing Tel Aviv office and will anchor our iGoogle efforts across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We are looking forward to working with Labpixies to develop great web apps and leverage their knowledge and expertise to help developers and improve the ecosystem overall. In the meantime, have fun trying to beat me at Flood-It!"
This is a surprisingly vague announcement for Google, which usually prides itself in spelling out its plans and encouraging everyone to get involved (ignoring the invite to play 'Flood It!'). As with the recent acquisitions of Picnik and reMail this is likely to bubble under the surface for now, but the implications could be huge given Google's Cloud focused and real-time collaboration interests.
Yes, we all wish Google would have bought OnLive instead, but give it time!
In related news Google Earth's 3D view has been integrated into Google Maps. You'll need to download a plugin to make it work in your browser, but simply click the new 'Earth' to get started. Yep, Google Earth as a dedicated piece of software just took another step closer to extinction...
In yet more related news Mozilla has announced an official pre-alpha of Firefox Mobile for Android. It is available now in Marketplace and makes up for that hacked edition which had everyone fooled last month.