Google has made a name for itself over the years by building some amazing applications such as its search engine and Gmail.  However, it has also had some rather infamous flops such as Orkut, Google Wave, and the way Buzz seems to be going.  So with a somewhat rocky road as of late, one has to wonder what exactly Google is going to make next.

google-nexus-oneAs of late, Google seems to be going in about fifty directions at once.  You had Wave that was going to “reinvent” e-mail, Buzz which was yet another attempt at doing something social, Latitude never seemed to go anywhere and so on.  While it has also been building its own tools, it has also been on a purchasing binge as of late buying companies such as DocStoc which works with Microsoft Office, the online image editor Picnik, reMail and more.

So, where is Google going?  What direction is the company heading next?  One word: Mobile.

Google vice-president of Global Ad Operations John Herlihy recently said, “In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smart phones, not PCs.”  Now, yes, this could still mean tools and applications for standard computers such as laptops, but lets take a look at the things the company is currently building.

We already have the Nexus One which is running the company’s Android mobile operating system.  Yes, the OS is being run on a multitude of handsets from various manufacturers, but would Google have gone through the effort of setting up a retail sales operation to sell only one device?  That is an awful lot of effort to sell just one item.  And Nexus “One”?  Isn’t that kind of a clue that the company plans to continue the line?

Then there is the Chrome OS, not to be confused with the Chrome browser.  The new operating system was initially targeted at netbook style devices, but there are also rumors of a tablet.  Could this mean that either of these devices could follow in the footsteps of the Nexus One and be sold directly by Google?

Even ignoring the potential direct sales from the company, it is fairly clear that Google is preparing to shift its attention to the mobile space.  This isn’t too out of the question as most companies seem to be heading in that direction because that is where the consumer market also seems to be moving.

The question is will it be a radical shift, or will it be a slow progression?  My personal guess is that it will be a slow move, but a move none the less.  There is no reason to completely abandon the desktop/laptop landscape by any stretch of the imagination, but don’t be surprised as the number of mobile announcements from Google continue to increase.

What say you?  What do you think Google is going to do next?