Even the mighty Google is battening down its hatches to weather the economic storm. The company's ceo suggests non-profitable software might be cut:
Non-revenue generating products will starve if they're not killed altogether. Projects the company is just "fiddling with," Eric Schmidt told the WSJ "will get naturally smaller as people get plucked off."
Does SketchUp generate revenue? There's the $500 "Pro" version, but I would assume most of the millions of downloaded copies are the free version.
There's the online warehouse that goes along with SketchUp: does it generate revenue? We don't know, because Google hasn't ever said. They won't even release download figures for its CAD products.
Another bad sign: Google is closing one of two offices in Denver, the original home of SketchUp.
(Google has/will-be/could-be shutting down or merging the following products initially: SearchMash, Lively, Google Page Creator, Google Audio Indexing, and Google Notebook.)
The company has traditionally been closed-mouthed relative to other technology firms. This was a marketing benefit in good times, when it could afford to be mysterious and all-knowing in a god-like manner. Now that bad times are upon it, customers want to know what's happening to products they rely on. The devil's in the details, as it were.
Still no word on SketchUp sales figures, but Google pr explains the office closings:
To clarify, there are currently two Google offices open in Colorado: Thornton and Boulder. Our Denver office was consolidated with the Thornton office back in October, and business at our Boulder office, where SketchUp is based, continues as usual.