You have to hand it to Google (GOOG). At a time when the technology industry has been throwing money at lawyers while cutting research and development spending, GOOG has made R&D a priority. It’s not afraid to reach far beyond its core competencies, with its infamous X Lab spawning futuristic Google projects like Google Glass and the driverless car.
However, even GOOG misses at least as many times as it hits a home run. For every Gmail, there’s a G+ or Wave that doesn’t live up to expectations.
In this gallery, we examine five high-profile Google projects and attempt to handicap their odds of survival five years from now. Will they succeed, fail or end up on the ropes like G+?