I do not really like to repeat rumors. In fact, I am categorizing what I am going to say as a rumor, because I can not reveal my source. All I can say is that source is very reliable.
First, you can not put 20+ brilliant people in a room, with no restrictions normally attached to being a P&L, ask them to code, and expect them to stop once they got to a nice little application you can give for free. At one point, ambition starts to kick in, with its sister, pride.
It was just a matter of time before Google Analytics got bored with being the little widget of Web Analytics. The secret? Well, not a big one to anyone who has been following the field for some time: Yep, GA is going “Enterprise Level”, for whatever it means. I guess they resented the name calling last year. Expect a full fledge product, with all the functionalities, with support, and yes, sales efforts (even though it will be free). People are actually calling and visiting big companies to convince them to use GA!
I don’t have anything against Google Analytics. Well, I do a little. Like basing my trust in the numbers on the sole reputation of the brand. No access to the data. To a professional Web analyst, that’s a major drawback. No, I totally agree it’s a neat product; I use it myself all the time. I use it, because I can’t afford the Big Ones, which I would by far prefer. But I certainly am grateful to have access to a product the quality of GA.
I am simply wondering about how the application scene will evolve if GA goes after the market, the real one, the paid one with its big bucks. If GA finally behaves like a “company” that is in the Web Analytics market. Why would anyone not choose a subsidized product over an expensive one? And what’s in it for Google? And what if, with the power of such brand, money, and “free” (the nicest word in the English language), GA kills off all the competition, and become the only available product?
Of course, this is science fiction. Won’t happen. I just think it’s funny we can now start talking about that great company the way we have loved to talk about Microsoft for so many years.
Needless to say, if what I am saying has any merit, the coming 18 months are going to be really interesting.