Watch out, Amazon Prime: Google reportedly wants a piece of that free-delivery action. According to TechCrunch, the search-engine giant is prepping “Google Shopping Express,” which will offer same-day delivery from big retailers such as Target and WalMart. Google plans on making the service a hit by undercutting Amazon’s Price by $10 to $15 dollars, according to the publication’s sources. “We believe Google employees may already be dogfooding the service,” TechCrunch reported, referring to the common tech-world practice of testing an app or service internally before loosing it on the larger world, “but we have little information as to how partnerships are handled and how subscribing works.” Whether or not this rumor pans out, it highlights a particular conundrum facing Google at this point in its evolution: despite its near-ubiquity in the search market, and healthy market-share in email and mobile operating systems, the company has precious little presence in the “real” world—certainly less than arch-rival Apple, which maintains a sizable retail footprint, or Amazon, which has spent years developing the capability to deliver all manner of physical goods at the touch of a button. In February, rumors circulated that Google intended to launch physical stores, presumably stocked with Android mobile devices, Chromebooks, Google TVs, and maybe even the company’s Google Glass augmented-reality eyewear. It took Andy Rubin, head of Google’s Android development, to shoot down that conjecture, when he told an audience at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce.” But the fact remains that Google, despite its origins as a cloud-services provider, now has enough physical products based on its work to fill retail stores. Mix in its relationships with traditional retailers, and it’s clear that the company could launch services that would put it on a collision course with Amazon, Apple, and other retailers… should it actually decide to go that route.   Image: megainarmy/