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Rediscovering Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

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The hot young names are in the doghouse, but an old reliable is back in Wall Street's favor.

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This is not peanuts. Google Maps is a $625 million-per-year money-maker already, and it is one with a bright future, given the opportunity to sell local advertising based on a mobile user's current location.

Also, investors have gotten over their unease about Google's acquisition last spring of Motorola Mobility. Google has since cut costs at the company, and rededicated it to making better Android phones.

As always, there's a glass-half-empty argument on Google. It suggests that Google is no longer at the cutting edge, that it's simply reacting to trends, playing "follow the leader" as new products emerge from other companies.

Such as Android, an operating system that Google created only after the success of Apple's iPhone. Except that Android now has about four times the 17% share of the smartphone market that Apple holds.

Meanwhile, Android users get to laugh at Apple Maps. A Fortune writer explains the fascinating reasons for some of the app's shortcomings. But it's more fun just to explore its world of errors, on a new Tumblr page and elsewhere. Like locating Berlin in Antarctica, and flattening the Eiffel Tower, and directing users straight into bodies of water.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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