When you’re a company as big as Google every week is going to produce a number of positive and negative stories.
This week, the search giant’s most positive piece of news was probably the announcements of a trial for its new modular smartphone, Project Ara, which comes with swappable parts. The company is hailing this innovation as the next evolution of the smartphone.
But, at the other end of the scale, Google had two large setbacks this week that it was slightly less keen to shout about.
The first came on Wednesday, when business newspaper CityAM reported that Google is renting a sizeable building in London's King’s Cross.
What’s wrong with that I hear you say? Well, the reason for signing the lease on the building is likely to be down to the fact that Google is still struggling to get its new £650 million UK headquarters off the ground.
The one million square foot HQ complete with swimming pool and running track was initially due to be completed in 2016, before being pushed back to 2017. However, when Techworld realised last August that a brick is still yet to be laid on its new horizontal skyscraper, Google admitted it now has no target completion date.
The reason: the architect’s plans weren’t extravagant enough, despite featuring a rooftop swimming pool and a running track.
Google maintains that the signing of the new lease shows that it’s boosting investment in the King’s Cross development project, and classes it as an expansion on its current commitment to the area.
However, it’s possible that the Silicon Valley behemoth has run into difficulties with its ambitious HQ. Maybe it’s even getting cold feet around the idea of moving into King’s Cross? After all, Shoreditch is the true heart of London’s Tech City and home to the likes of Amazon and Intel.
To top off Google’s turbulent week, it was revealed yesterday that the company was putting a halt to sales of to its augmented reality headset, Google Glass.
The news will not be welcomed by the large number of people in the UK who have invested in the wearable device, which has been on sale for £1,000 via the Google Play store since last June. Nor will supermarket giant Tesco, which proudly announced this week that it was the first major retailer to release a Glasswear app.
Google claims, however, that Glass will be back one day, adding that it’s tasking a new division with the development of the product, which has failed to gain traction with the public largely due to its lack of “specsappeal".