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Google turning Canada into mobile software mecca

Part of a 'great mission'

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Sneaky Google nabbed Canadian mobile device software maker Reqwireless last Summer - and didn't bother to tell anyone about the acquisition. Like the rest of the hacks, we've just learned about it now.

Google bought Reqwireless for an undisclosed sum in the hope of improving the search engine giant's various software products for cell phones and PDAs. Reqwireless used to sell packages for viewing email and HTML on mobile products and, in particular, did work for devices running Java (J2ME). Google, of course, has plenty of goodies such as maps, email and search applications that can be delivered to mobile devices.

The Canadians have made a bigger deal of the acquisition, as is the nature of any Google-related items these days. They're claiming that Waterloo, Ont. - the home of Reqwireless - is becoming a major mobile IT hub. BlackBerry maker RIM has a large workforce in Waterloo.

"Waterloo is also home to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which was established with funding by RIM co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis," writes the Financial Post. "As well, the University of Waterloo has one of North America's leading computer science programs, attracting recruiters from large high-tech players such as Google and Microsoft Corp.

"Google, which has recruited University of Waterloo graduates to work in Silicon Valley for several years, recently placed a job posting on its website looking for a mobile wireless application developer based in the southern Ontario city."

The paper actually went on to quote a professor saying that working at Google gives people the feeling that they're "engaged in a great mission." That's quite the oversell for a company that displays text advertisements on web pages. We'll take an ad giant like Budweiser as our God any day over Googlor. ®

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