Google’s planned move into selling consumer hardware has not exactly been met with universal acclaim. But whatever the mysterious “home entertainment device” that prompted the criticism turns out to be, apparently it won’t be a one-off. Google is in the midst of a $120 million construction binge at its Googleplex headquarters, which includes a 120,000 square foot “Google Experience Center,” a new skunkworks lab and several hardware testing labs. Why the new focus? Because “it’s not about brands or devices or platforms anymore,” Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg tells the New York Times. “It’s about the ecosystem.” That means building devices as well as the services that run on them. And right now, Google is losing the race to create compelling ecosystems to Apple and Amazon.
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