Google’s purchase of Waze raises all kinds of questions

Google has made their purchase of Waze, the crowd-sourced GPS navigation app, official.

The company with 28 million users reportedly went for $1.03 billion dollars, in what many characterize as a defensive move to keep Waze out of the hands of Facebook, Apple and Nokia.

"Google is not leaving it on the plate for Apple or Facebook to buy,"said Carolina Milanesi, a consumer technology analyst at Gartner.  "They’re staying ahead of the game and being able to continue to be the leader in the maps space."

In line with this motivation, it seems Google will continue to let Waze function as a stand-alone division.

“Nothing practical will change here at Waze,” said Waze CEO Noam Bardin. “We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same. The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come.”

This will hopefully mean Waze will continue to develop their Windows Phone navigation application, currently in beta, which will highlight the irony of a small company finding the Windows Phone community compelling enough to develop for, while a massive company like Google claims poverty of resources and find supporting the millions of Windows Phone users not worthwhile.

If course of we find the Windows Phone app strangely “delayed” we will know who to point the finger to also.

Of course this raises the question of whether Windows Phone users want the Waze app on their Windows Phone, now that the data will flow to Google also.

"Owning context is what matters," Milanesi said. "It’s not giving you turn-by-turn directions. It’s about knowing where you are, who you’re with, adding location and social together and making it very powerful from an application perspective, but also monetizable from an advertising perspective. So that’s right at the core of what Google’s business is."

Sounds tasty, doesn’t it?

Do our readers think Google will kill Waze for Windows Phone, and if they don’t, do we still want the app? Let us know below.

Via The Verge.com

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