Does Google Earth really cost $150 million a year?

Over at 24/7 Wall St., Douglas McIntyre is speculating that Google Earth costs “at least $150 million a year.”  Wow.  Here’s the rest:

“Google Earth is about .15% of the parent company’s visits, but it is almost certainly a much larger portion of the firm’s cost base. Google claims that over 400 million people have activated this product worldwide. Google Earth has a number of complex software features which are expensive to maintain on servers. These include 3D renderings of a tremendous number of buildings around the world, swoop navigation which allows 360 degree views of buildings and streets, and the ability to watch sunrise and sunset from almost any position in the world. The storage and rendering of all of this satellite and photo data has to be immensely expensive, probably at least $150 million a year. Shave $1 billion of Google’s market cap for Earth.”

Read the rest of Doug’s article…

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