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Monday, May 13, 2013

Google’s Developer Conference to Be Light on New Products

In the past few years, Google’s annual developers conference has grown from being an insiders’ event for software geeks to one in which big announcements about new hardware like Google Glass are made. But this year the conference, which starts Wednesday, will not have much to show in terms of new products, according to a company executive.

In an interview with Wired magazine, Sundar Pichai, a vice president at Google who was recently put in charge of its Android mobile operating system, said this year’s conference, known as Google I/O, would have a strong focus on software developers, not snazzy new gear.

That will be a stark contrast to last year, when Google wowed audiences with a demonstration of Google Glass, its Internet-connected eyewear, as well as a new tablet.

“It’s going to be different,” Mr. Pichai told Wired. “It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system.” He said the event would focus instead on showing software developers what they could do with Android and Chrome OS, Google’s browser-based operating system.

Google’s event is most likely light on news this year because the company is going through corporatewide transitions. Mr. Pichai, who had overseen Chrome OS, replaced Andy Rubin as the senior vice president in charge of Android just two months ago. And new products have yet to materialize after Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, as Google has been quietly shuffling leadership inside the handset maker. For instance, last year it appointed Lior Ron, who had spent six years working on Google Maps, as vice president for product management at Google.