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Google Cuts Off Parental Support for Google ‘Moonshots’

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Alphabet CEO Larry PagePhotograph by Stuart Isett — Fortune Global Forum

Remember all that stuff about the Google reboot under the new Alphabet corporate parent organization that would give pet tech projects some breathing room? Well, there’s been a reboot of that reboot.

Apparently Google’s parent company is going to make employees building its “moonshot” technologies pay for their use of Google’s internal resources, according to the Wall Street Journal.

So, if a Google employee is working on Google Fiber or Google X or another of what the company calls its big-bet efforts, she’ll be charged for using Google’s own corporate infrastructure, including Google cloud-based computing as well as human resources and marketing perks.

That could mean that Google (GOOG) itself may be one of the first big paying customers for the Google cloud, which as of last week included not just the big-bang Google Compute Cloud that competes with Amazon (AMZN) Web Services, but also Google Apps and Google at Work. At that time Google named Diane Greene, who was founder and former CEO of VMware (VMW), as its cloud chief, reporting to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

MORE: Google Opens Hangouts To All

That was part of a growing acknowledgement by Google, including last week in comments by Google’s top technical infrastructure executive Urs Hölzle, that it needs to prove it is serious about pushing its cloud offerings to paying, corporate accounts. Thus far, the perception is that Google Cloud and associated technologies lag traction compared to AWS and Microsoft Azure, both of which can claim major enterprise customers.

Google’s reputation is that it builds world-class technologies like BigQuery, which makes it easy to ask questions of big data sets, and Bigtable ,which stores tons of that data, but has no clue how to sell them. Often what Google seems to need most is an IBM- (IBM) or Microsoft-(MSFT) or VMware-style corporate sales force to make big businesses take it seriously. Especially if it wants to start profiting from cloud as well as from its Internet search and advertising business.

Fortune has reached out to Google for additional comment and will update this report as needed.

So it looks like the corporate sales model begins at home.

For more on cloud, see the video.

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